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G W Montgomery, M L Tate, H M Henry, J M Penty, and R M Rohan


Restriction fragment length polymorphisms were identified in sheep and deer using ovine cDNA probes for the FSH receptor (FSHR) and the LH receptor (LHCGR). FSHR and LHCGR were closely linked in sheep with no recombinants and neither receptor was linked to the Booroola fecundity gene (FecB). Both receptors were also closely linked in deer at a map distance of 3·3 cM. Linkage between the receptor genes assigns FSHR to sheep chromosome 3. Sequence analysis showed that the mammalian LHCGRs and FSHRs are more similar to each other than to mammalian TSH receptor (TSHR). Taken together, these data suggest that TSHR and the LHCGR/FSHR arose from a common ancestral gene by a process of chromosomal duplication. Subsequent duplication of the region containing the LH/FSH receptor and functional divergence could have given rise to the two gonadotrophin receptors present in mammals today.

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J-M Frenoux, P Vernet, D H Volle, A Britan, F Saez, A Kocer, J Henry-Berger, D J Mangelsdorf, J-M A Lobaccaro, and J R Drevet

In this study we looked at the epididymides and spermatozoa of mice knocked-out for nuclear oxysterol receptors (LXR). We have shown that LXR-deficient mice exhibited upon ageing a severe disruption of their caput epididymides associated with abnormal accumulation of neutral lipids. The epididymis defaults were correlated with sperm head fragility and infertility. In agreement with the observed caput defect in transgenic animals in which both LXRα and LXRβ isoforms were disrupted, we have shown here that both receptors are expressed in caput and cauda epididymides regions. LXRβ was predominantly expressed throughout the mouse epididymis while the expression of LXRα was weaker. In addition, the expression of selected genes that can be considered as markers of adult epididymis function was monitored via Northern blots in the different single and double LXR-deficient backgrounds. Altogether, the data presented here suggest that LXR receptors are important actors in epididymis function.