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Time-lapse imaging as a tool to investigate contractility of the epididymal duct : effects of Cgmp signaling

Mietens, Andrea ; Tasch, Sabine ; Stammler, Angelika ; Konrad, Lutz ; Feuerstacke, Caroline ; Middendorff, Ralf

Originalveröffentlichung: (2014) PLoS ONE 9(3):e92603 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092603
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-111589

Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universit├Ąt Gie├čen
Institut: Institut f├╝r Anatomie und Zellbiologie; Zentrum f├╝r Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe
Fachgebiet: Medizin
DDC-Sachgruppe: Medizin
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2014
Publikationsdatum: 28.10.2014
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: The well orchestrated function of epididymal smooth muscle cells ensures transit of spermatozoa through the epididymal duct during which spermatozoa acquire motility and fertilizing capacity. Relaxation of smooth muscle cells is mediated by cGMP signaling and components of this pathway are found within the male reproductive tract. Whereas contractile function of caudal parts of the rat epididymal duct can be examined in organ bath studies, caput and corpus regions are fragile and make it difficult to mount them in an organ bath. We developed an ex vivo time-lapse imaging-based approach to investigate the contractile pattern in these parts of the epididymal duct. Collagen-embedding allowed immobilization without impeding contractility or diffusion of drugs towards the duct and therefore facilitated subsequent movie analyses. The contractile pattern was made visible by placing virtual sections through the acquired image stack to track wall movements over time. By this, simultaneous evaluation of contractile activity at different positions of the observed duct segment was possible. With each contraction translating into a spike, drug-induced alterations in contraction frequency could be assessed easily. Peristaltic contractions were also detectable and throughout all regions in the proximal epididymis we found regular spontaneous contractile activity that elicited movement of intraluminal contents. Stimulating cGMP production by natriuretic peptide ANP or inhibiting degradation of cGMP by the phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor sildenafil significantly reduced contractile frequency in isolated duct segments from caput and corpus. RT-PCR analysis after laser-capture microdissection localized the corresponding molecules to the smooth muscle layer of the duct. Our time-lapse imaging approach proved to be feasible to assess contractile function in all regions of the epididymal duct under near physiological conditions and provides a tool to evaluate acute (side) effects of drugs and to investigate various signaling pathways.
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