Mapping the testicular interstitial fluid proteome from normal rats

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Stanton, PG
Foo, CFH
Rainczuk, A
Stephens, AN
Condina, M
O'Donnell, L
Weidner, W
Ishikawa, T
Cruickshanks, L
Smith, LB
McLachlan, RI
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Communication between the testicular somatic (Sertoli, Leydig, peritubular myoid, macrophage) and germ cell types is essential for sperm production (spermatogenesis), but the communicating factors are poorly understood. We reasoned that identification of proteins in the testicular interstitial fluid (TIF) that bathes these cells could provide a new means to explore spermatogenic function. The aim of this study was to map the proteome of TIF from normal adult rats. Low-abundance proteins in TIF were enriched using ProteoMiner beads and identified by MALDI-MS/MS, recognizing 276 proteins. Comparison with proteomic and genomic databases showed these proteins originated from germ cells, somatic cells (Sertoli, peritubular myoid, Leydig), and blood plasma. In silico analysis revealed homologues of >80% TIF proteins in the human plasma proteome, suggesting ready exchange between these fluids. Only 36% of TIF proteins were common with seminiferous tubule fluid that transports mature spermatids to the epididymis, indicating these two fluids are quite different. This TIF proteome provides an important new resource for the study of intercellular communication in the testis.

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© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mapping the testicular interstitial fluid proteome from normal rats, Proteomics, 2016, 16 (17), pp. 2391-2402, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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Biological sciences

Reproductive medicine

Biomedical and clinical sciences

Animal proteomics

Germ cell

Intercellular communication


Sertoli cell

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Stanton, PG; Foo, CFH; Rainczuk, A; Stephens, AN; Condina, M; O'Donnell, L; Weidner, W; Ishikawa, T; Cruickshanks, L; Smith, LB; McLachlan, RI, Mapping the testicular interstitial fluid proteome from normal rats, Proteomics, 2016, 16 (17), pp. 2391-2402