Cell-specific expression of βC-activin in the rat reproductive tract, adrenal and liver
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BetaC-activin expression was assessed in rat tissues, using reverse transcription and real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry with a specific monoclonal antibody. betaC-activin mRNA was predominantly expressed in liver, but significant amounts were found in rat whole pituitary extracts (n = 5), and in three of five extracts of ovary, testis, and adrenal gland. Specific betaC-activin immunoreactivity was demonstrated in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes, neurosecretory cell terminals in posterior pituitary, ovarian primordial follicles, theca interna, large luteal cells and rete ovarii, spermatogonia, pachytene spermatocytes and Leydig cells of the testis, uterine endometrium, oviduct epithelium and zona glomerulosa of the adrenal. The observation of stage-specific expression in gonadal cells suggests this activin subunit has specific roles, different from those of other activin/inhibin subunits. Small amounts of mRNA in the presence of significant betaC-activin protein highlights the importance of examining betaC-activin expression at both the mRNA and protein level.
Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology