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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Detection of the hyaluronan receptor CD44 in the bovine oviductal epithelium

Bergqvist AS, Yokoo M, Bage R, Sato E, Rodriguez-Martinez H


Hyaluronan is involved in fundamental reproductive events such as sperm storage in the female reproductive tract, fertilization, and early embryo development, these functions are presumably mediated by its major cell surface receptor, CD44. The present study was conducted to investigate the presence and localization of CD44 in the bovine oviductal epithelium, using immunohistochemical and Western blot methods on tissue sections and epithelial cell extracts collected from the uterotubal junction (UTJ), isthmus, and ampulla of animals in the oestrus or luteal phase of the oestrous cycle. While positive immunolabelling for CD44 was found on the ad-luminal surface and supra-nuclear region of epithelial cells in all tubal segments investigated, in the UTJ, there were epithelial cells in which the entire cytoplasm positively stained. We found no differences in terms of CD44-positive staining between the different stages of the oestrous cycle. Presence of CD44 was detected by Western blotting in the tubal epithelium as a single band at 200 kDa. Although it appeared in all tubal segments, the expression of CD44 protein was more accentuated in the sperm reservoir (UTJ) than in the other segments. This is the first time CD44 has been detected in the epithelium of the tubal sperm reservoir in cattle, suggesting a pathway for the action of hyaluronan in this segment

Published in

Journal of Reproduction and Development
2005, Volume: 51, number: 4, pages: 445-453