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The chemokine receptor CXCR7 interacts with the chemokines CXCL11 and CXCL12. During development, this ligand receptor system (C-X-C) provokes cell-type-specific responses in terms of migration, adhesion or ligand sequestration. It is active in zebrafish and rodents but no data are available for its presence or function in primate testes. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed in monkeys to detect CXCL11, CXCL12 and CXCR7. At the protein level, CXCL12 and CXCR7 were localized in the testes of the marmoset (Callitrix jacchus) whereas CXCR7 patterns were determined for various stages in human testes. Morphometry and flow cytometry were applied to quantify CXCR7-positive cells in monkeys. Transcript levels and protein expression of CXCR7 were detectable throughout testicular development. In both species, CXCR7 protein expression was restricted to premeiotic germ cells. In immature marmoset testes, 69.9 % ± 9 % of the total germ cell population were labelled for CXCR7, whereas in the adult, 4.7 % ± 2.7 % were positive for CXCR7. CXCL12 mRNA was detectable in all developmental stages in marmosets. The CXCL12 protein was exclusively localized to Sertoli cells. This pattern of CXCL12/CXCR7 indicates their involvement in regulatory processes that possibly orchestrate the interaction between undifferentiated germ cells and Sertoli cells.
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