Dynein 1 supports spermatid transport and spermiation during spermatogenesis in the rat testis

Qing Wen, Elizabeth I. Tang, Wing Yee Lui, Will M. Lee, Chris K C WONG, Bruno Silvestrini, C. Yan Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


In the mammalian testis, spermatogenesis is dependent on the microtubule (MT)-specific motor proteins, such as dynein 1, that serve as the engine to support germ cell and organelle transport across the seminiferous epithelium at different stages of the epithelial cycle. Yet the underlying molecular mecha-nism(s) that support this series of cellular events remain unknown. Herein, we used RNAi to knockdown cytoplasmic dynein 1 heavy chain (Dync1h1) and an inhibitor ciliobrevin D to inactivate dynein in Sertoli cells in vitro and the testis in vivo, thereby probing the role of dynein 1 in spermatogenesis. Both treatments were shown to extensively induce disruption of MT organization across Sertoli cells in vitro and the testis in vivo. These changes also perturbed the transport of spermatids and other organelles (such as phagosomes) across the epithelium. These changes thus led to disruption of spermatogenesis. Interestingly, the knockdown of dynein 1 or its inactivation by ciliobrevin D also perturbed gross disruption of F-actin across the Sertoli cells in vitro and the seminiferous epithelium in vivo, illustrating there are cross talks between the two cytoskeletons in the testis. In summary, these findings confirm the role of cytoplasmic dynein 1 to support the transport of spermatids and organelles across the seminiferous epithelium during the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E924-E948
Number of pages25
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Actin
  • Dynein 1
  • Ectoplasmic specialization
  • Microtubule
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Testis


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