Body temperature (37 C) specifically down-regulates the messenger ribonucleic acid for the major sperm surface antigen CD52 in epididymal cell culture

Endocrinology. 1996 Oct;137(10):4451-9. doi: 10.1210/endo.137.10.8828507.


To study the role of scrotal vs. body temperature in epididymal function we established a simplified cell culture system from the dog epididymis in which the cells showed a pattern of gene expression similar to that in the human epididymis and retained many characteristics of epididymal epithelial cells. The cultured cells had an epithelial-type cytoskeleton, nuclear androgen receptor protein, and a striking temperature responsiveness. Exposure of the cells to a culture temperature of 37 C, compared to 33 C, had a fast and irreversibly suppressive effect on the levels of an abundant epididymal messenger RNA (mRNA), CE5, which represents the canine counterpart of the human CD52/HE5 mRNA, encoding a major glycosylphoshatidylinnositol (GPI)-anchored sperm membrane glycopeptide. The temperature effect on the mRNA was a direct and specific one, not mediated by temperature influences on the testis and not affecting other epididymal mRNAs. Exposure of the cells to 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (25 micrograms/ml culture medium) and cycloheximide (2 micrograms/ml) suggested that the steady state levels of CD52/CE5 mRNA may be controlled posttranscriptionally by changing the half-life of this specific mRNA in response to an extracellular temperature stimulus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / genetics*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm*
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics*
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • CD52 Antigen
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cryptorchidism / metabolism
  • Culture Media
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Dichlororibofuranosylbenzimidazole / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Epididymis / cytology
  • Epididymis / metabolism*
  • Glycoproteins*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Spermatozoa / immunology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Surface
  • CD52 Antigen
  • CD52 protein, human
  • Culture Media
  • Glycoproteins
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Dichlororibofuranosylbenzimidazole
  • Cycloheximide