University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Garber Lab

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Cell and Developmental Biology | Cells | Developmental Biology | Genetics and Genomics


Following testicular spermatogenesis, mammalian sperm continue to mature in a long epithelial tube known as the epididymis, which plays key roles in remodeling sperm protein, lipid, and RNA composition. To understand the roles for the epididymis in reproductive biology, we generated a single-cell atlas of the murine epididymis and vas deferens. We recovered key epithelial cell types including principal cells, clear cells, and basal cells, along with associated support cells that include fibroblasts, smooth muscle, macrophages and other immune cells. Moreover, our data illuminate extensive regional specialization of principal cell populations across the length of the epididymis. In addition to region-specific specialization of principal cells, we find evidence for functionally specialized subpopulations of stromal cells, and, most notably, two distinct populations of clear cells. Our dataset extends on existing knowledge of epididymal biology, and provides a wealth of information on potential regulatory and signaling factors that bear future investigation.


development, developmental biology, genetics, genomics, mouse, reproduction, sperm maturation

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Copyright Rinaldi et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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Rinaldi VD, Donnard E, Gellatly K, Rasmussen M, Kucukural A, Yukselen O, Garber M, Sharma U, Rando OJ. An atlas of cell types in the mouse epididymis and vas deferens. Elife. 2020 Jul 30;9:e55474. doi: 10.7554/eLife.55474. PMID: 32729827; PMCID: PMC7426093. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.