Histamine synthesis in male reproductive tissues remains largely unknown. The interaction between stem cell factor and its receptor, c-Kit, has been found to be essential for the maturation of male germ cells and peripheral mast cells. Based on this analogy, we investigated the expression of histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the rate-limiting enzyme of histamine synthesis, in mouse male germ cells. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that HDC is localized in the acrosomes of spermatids and spermatozoa. In the testis, epididymis, and spermatozoa, a significant amount of histamine and HDC activity were detected. W/Wv mice, known to lack most of their germ cells in the seminiferous tubules, were found to lack HDC protein expression as well as HDC activity in the testis. An in vitro acrosome reaction induced by a calcium ionophore, A23187, caused the release of histamine from epididymal spermatozoa. Our observations indicate that histamine is produced in and released from the acrosomes.
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