Expression of the rhesus glycoproteins, ammonia transporter family members, RHCG and RHBG in male reproductive organs

Hyun Wook Lee, Jill W. Verlander, Mary E. Handlogten, Ki Hwan Han, Paul S. Cooke, I. David Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The rhesus glycoproteins, Rh B glycoprotein (RHBG) and Rh C glycoprotein (RHCG), are recently identified ammonia transporters. Rhcg expression is necessary for normal male fertility, but its specific cellular expression is unknown, and Rhbg has not been reported to be expressed in the male reproductive tract. This study sought to determine the specific cellular expression of Rhcg, to determine whether Rhbg is expressed in the male reproductive tract, and, if so, to determine which cells express Rhbg using real-time RT-PCR, immunoblot analysis, and immunohistochemistry. Both Rhbg and Rhcg were expressed throughout the male reproductive tract. In the testis, high levels of Rhbg were expressed in Leydig cells, and Rhcg was expressed in spermatids during the later stages of their maturation (steps 13-16) in stages I-VIII of the seminiferous epithelium cycle. In the epididymis, basolateral Rhbg was present in narrow cells in the initial segment, in principal cells in the upper corpus, and in clear cells throughout the epididymis. Apical Rhcg immunolabel was present in principal cells in the caput and upper corpus epididymidis and in clear cells in the middle and lower corpus and cauda epididymidis. In the vas deferens, apical Rhcg immunolabel and basolateral Rhbg immunolabel were present in some principal cells and colocalized with HC-ATPase immunolabel. We conclude that both Rhbg and Rhcg are highly expressed in specific cells in the male reproductive tract where they can contribute to multiple components of male fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of the rhesus glycoproteins, ammonia transporter family members, RHCG and RHBG in male reproductive organs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this