Intercellular adhesion molecule-2 is involved in apical ectoplasmic specialization dynamics during spermatogenesis in the rat

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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In this study, we investigated the role of intercellular adhesion molecule-2 (ICAM2) in the testis. ICAM2 is a cell adhesion protein having important roles in cell migration, especially during inflammation when leukocytes cross the endothelium. Herein, we showed ICAM2 to be expressed by germ and Sertoli cells in the rat testis. When a monospecific antibody was used for immunolocalization experiments, ICAM2 was found to surround the heads of elongating/elongated spermatids in all stages of the seminiferous epithelial cycle. To determine whether ICAM2 is a constituent of apical ectoplasmic specialization (ES), co-immunoprecipitation and dual immunofluorescence staining were performed. Interestingly, ICAM2 was found to associate with β1-integrin, nectin-3, afadin, Src, proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2, annexin II, and actin. Following CdCl_2 treatment, ICAM2 was found to be upregulated during restructuring of the seminiferous epithelium, with round spermatids becoming increasingly immunoreactive for ICAM2 by 6–16 h. Interestingly, there was a loss in the binding of ICAM2 to actin during CdCl_2-induced germ cell loss, suggesting that a loss of ICAM2-actin interactions might have facilitated junction restructuring. Taken collectively, these results illustrate that ICAM2 plays an important role in apical ES dynamics during spermatogenesis.