In Vitro Contraction of Isolated Cauda Epididymal Duct Smooth Muscle as a Complimentary Approach to Physiological, Pathological, Toxicological, and Pharmacological Studies on Epididymal Function
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Contraction of cauda epididymal duct (CE) smooth muscle is one of the very first events of the seminal emission phase of ejaculation. The contraction of CE smooth muscle is governed by a complex interaction of hormones, autacoids, and by the neurotransmitters released from the epididymal intramural nerve endings, and any impairment in the CE smooth muscle contraction has the potential to impair male fertility. Apart the obvious pathophysiological and toxicological importance of CE smooth muscle contraction, modulation of CE contraction has pharmaceutical interest offering a druggable target to development of drugs to improve/impair male fertility. The in vitro contraction experiments constitute a valuable approach to an in-depth evaluation of functional and molecular changes resulting from pathologies or drug exposure. Therefore, this chapter consists in a description of in vitro pharmacological reactivity contractility of the epididymal duct in a controlled medium, maintained at 30 °C of temperature and continuously bubbled with 95% O2 and 5% CO2 to obtain cumulative concentration–response curves that has been fundamental to some of our investigations on epididymal physiology, toxicology, and pharmacology.