We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Dr Adam Benham

Schorr-Lenz, A., Alves, J., Hence, N.A., Seidel, P.M., Benham, A.M. & Bustamante-Filho, I.C. (2016). GnRH immunization alters the expression and distribution of protein disulfide isomerases in the epididymis. Andrology 4(5): 957-963.

Author(s) from Durham


Hypogonadism is defined as the inadequate gonadal production of testosterone. Low serum testosterone leads to infertility by impairing spermatogenesis and reducing sperm count, however, the impact of hypogonadism in epididymal sperm maturation is poorly understood. From the testis, spermatozoa are transported into the epididymis where they find a specific microenvironment composed of a complex mixture of proteins that facilitate sperm storage and maturation. Inside the epididymal ductule, spermatozoa undergo several changes, resulting in their becoming capable of fertilizing eggs. Protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs) are known to participate in the folding and assembly of secreted proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. However, little is known about the control and function of PDIs in the testis and epididymis, particularly during male development. The aim of this work was to compare the expression and distribution of PDI and PDIA3 (ERp57) in the testis and epididymis of healthy and GnRH-immunized boars. We detected higher amounts of PDIA3 and PDI in sperm preparations and fluid from the proximal regions of the epididymis of healthy boars. However, we observed an increase in PDIA3 expression in the testis and cauda epididymis in the immunocastrated group. GnRH-immunized boars showed a marked increase in PDI content in cauda spermatozoa and fluid, indicating a possible endocrine dysregulation of PDI. The results of our study suggest that PDIs are associated with epididymal sperm maturation and may be attractive candidates for monitoring male fertility.