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Title:Characterization of the Epididymal Region of the Rooster
Author(s):Janssen, Sarah Jo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bahr, Janice M.
Department / Program:Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Discipline:Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Animal Physiology
Abstract:The epididymal region (rete testis, efferent ductules and epididymal duct) of the male reproductive tract is essential for the production of fertile sperm. Two diseases or dysfunctions of avian efferent ductules resulting in decreased fertility have been reported. Efferent ductules comprise the largest part of the epididymal region in avian species and play an essential role in male fertility by reabsorbing >90% of the testicular fluid and thereby concentrate sperm. Fluid reabsorption in the efferent ductules is driven by the isosmotic reabsorption of sodium coupled with chloride. Bicarbonate and calcium ions are also reabsorbed. Although ion transport in the efferent ductules of mammalian species has been well studied, there have been few studies of ion transport in avian species. Therefore, this investigation was undertaken to further characterize the epididymal region of the rooster reproductive tract and to identify ion transporters that may be important for fertility. Specific objectives were: (1) to develop a primary cell culture system of the efferent ductule epithelium; (2) to investigate the incidence and impact of epididymal stones on reproduction; and (3) to identify the ion transporters present in the rooster epididymal region, with an emphasis on those controlling acid/base balance and calcium homeostasis. The major findings were: (1) efferent ductule epithelium maintains normal morphology and function in culture but does not form a confluent monolayer; (2) chickens of diverse species and widespread locations develop epididymal calculi that interfere with sperm maturation and fertility; and (3) mRNA for ion transporters and regulators of acid/base balance have been identified in the rooster epididymal region. This study further confirms the importance of the efferent ductules for fertility. Epididymal calculi must have an impact on the reproductive efficiency of poultry farms and understanding of the cause of this condition will result in improved poultry production. Furthermore, similarities between efferent ductules and proximal tubules of kidney make this a good model for understanding the formation of kidney stones.
Issue Date:2001
Description:104 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023084
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2001

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