Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
The cytoskeleton of cells in general consists or three major components: microfilaments(actin), intermediate filaments (desmin, vimentin and cytokeratin) and microtubules (atubulin). The present study describes the changes in the distribution patterns of the cytoskeletal proteins in the immature and mature testes of the swamp-type water buffalo by immunochemistry. The prominent immunoreactions with cytoskeletal proteins in the testis occur in the peritubular cells, Sertoli cells, modified Sertoli cells of the terminal segment of the seminiferous tubule, intratesticular excurrent ducts and blood vessels. Leydig cells and spermatogenic cells were negative to all the cytoskeletal proteins studied. The present results showed that the pattern of distribution of some cytoskeletal proteins changes from immature to mature testis of the swamp-type water buffalo. Although vimentin and a-tubulin are localized in the peritubular cells, actin is the major cytoskeletal protein in these cells that may not only provide structural integrity to the tubule but may also be involved in the regulating of testicular function. Desmin, vimentin and a-tubulin present in the modified Sertoli cells of the terminal segment of the seminiferous tubules suggest that these proteins are involved in maintaining the cytoskeletal framework to be able to carry out their function as a valve-like device preventing the reflux of spermatozoa and tubular fluid and aid in regulating the secretory activity of the modified Sertoli cells. Moreover, the present study also confirms that vimentin is the intermediate filament present in the Sertoli cells of the adult testis. In addition, appearance of cytokeratin may be related to ageing rather than having an undifferentiated immature feature. However, further studies are necessary to elucidate the function of these cytoskeletal proteins in relation to change in the distribution pattern in the testes of immature and mature swamp-type water buffalo.