Telocytes are localized to testis of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) and are affected by lighting conditions and G-coupled membrane estrogen receptor (GPER) signaling.


Department of Endocrinology, Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Gronostajowa 9, 30-387 Krakow, Poland. Electronic address: [Email]


We aim to explore the presence of a novel cell type, telocytes (TCs), in the bank vole testis interstitium following G-coupled membrane estrogen receptor (GPER) signaling withdrawal. In addition, the involvement of interstitial cells in lipid homeostasis was investigated. Bank voles (actively reproducing or regressed) were administered with GPER antagonist (G-15; 50 μg/kg bw) injections. To examine TC distribution, ultrastructure, function, and their connotation in the interstitial tissue lipid balance, electron microscopic observations were implemented. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot for the TC marker, CD34, and lipid balance molecules: leptin, adiponectin, and perilipin were performed. Photoperiod-regulated testis steroidogenic function was estimated via serum melatonin level and intratesticular cholesterol concentrations in immunoenzymatic assays. We demonstrate the presence of TCs in bank vole testis interstitium. Distinctive TC morphology: small cell bodies with very long, slender prolongations, constituting a three-dimensional network around the interstitial cells was seen. Ultrastructurally, scarce mitochondria, a few cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum, and lipid droplets indicated possible TC implications in lipid homeostasis. Changes in CD34 expression in TCs were seen in relation to GPER disturbances. In GPER-blocked testis, single TCs were present in the LD interstitium when in SD ones they were occasionally absent. Moreover, in TCs of SD voles, a lack of lipid droplets was revealed, likely reflecting attenuated TC function during regression. However, melatonin levels decreased in GPER-blocked LD and SD. Concomitantly, leptin, adiponectin, and perilipin expressions together with cholesterol content varied after blockage. Based on our results we suggest TCs are an important component of the bank vole testis interstitium as they are implicated in ultramorphology maintenance, protein interactions, and lipid homeostasis.


Bank vole,Lipid homeostasis,Telocyte,Testis,Ultrastructure,