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Immunohistochemical and semiquantitative study of the apical mitochondria-rich cells of the human prepubertal and adult epididymis


, : Immunohistochemical and semiquantitative study of the apical mitochondria-rich cells of the human prepubertal and adult epididymis. Journal of Anatomy 183: 507-514

An immunohistochemical and semiquantitative study of the apical mitochondria-rich cells (AMRC) in the caput, corpus and cauda of the human epididymis from the fetal period to adulthood was performed on autopsy specimens from normal males without testicular or associated pathology. The immunohistochemical pattern of AMRC differed from that of the principal cells (PC). AMRC showed a more intense immunoreaction to several keratin types (AE1 and AE3 keratin complexes, and keratins 18 and 19) and to oestradiol-related protein receptors than did PC. In addition, immunostaining with antibodies to epithelial membrane antigen was intense in PC and weak in AMRC. Two immunohistochemical types of basal cells were observed: one was similar to the AMRC and the other to PC. PC and AMRC were already present in fetuses of 24-27 wk gestation. Basal cells were only occasionally observed at this age, but became much more numerous in the 28-33 wk fetuses. No changes in the immunohistochemical patterns of any of these cell types were found during infancy and adulthood. The numbers of PC per unit length of basement membrane were very similar in the 3 epididymal regions and at all ages studied. In all age groups, the number of AMRC decreased from caput to cauda epididymis. In the caput and corpus, the number of AMRC rose during the fetal period and the first 6 months after birth and thereafter decreased progressively during infancy and adulthood.

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PMID: 7507915


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