Comprehensive overview of murine epididymal mononuclear phagocytes and lymphocytes: Unexpected populations arise

Publication date: April 2018
Source:Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Volume 126
Author(s): Allison Voisin, Marjorie Whitfield, Christelle Damon-Soubeyrand, Chantal Goubely, Joëlle Henry-Berger, Fabrice Saez, Ayhan Kocer, Joël R. Drevet, Rachel Guiton
Despite increasing evidence that epididymal immune disorders can lead to infertility, the cells and mechanisms underlying epididymal immunity remain poorly understood. In this study, we propose a rather exhaustive overview of innate and adaptive immune cells present in the murine caput and cauda epididymis. Using flow cytometry and a wide set of markers, we screened the broadest panel of immune cells ever, in this organ. For the first time, we unequivocally quantified the innate populations of monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells subtypes. We also revealed the presence of B cells, gamma delta T cells, and double negative T cells in the murine epididymis. They were localized by immunofluorescence stainings, and appeared to be all present in the interstitium and epithelium along the organ, but with respective preferential regional distribution. Altogether, these findings provide new insights on the actors and potential mechanisms involved in the immune responses against genital tract ascending pathogens and in the setting and maintenance of tolerance toward the sperm cells.