Morphofunctional changes of female germinal epithelium to support spermatozoa along the annual reproductive cycle in an inseminating catfish (Trachelyopterus galeatus, Auchenipteridae)
Article first published online: 11 OCT 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Morphology
Volume 275, Issue 1, pages 65–75, January 2014
How to Cite
Chiarini-Garcia, H., Vieira, F. O. and Godinho, H. P. (2014), Morphofunctional changes of female germinal epithelium to support spermatozoa along the annual reproductive cycle in an inseminating catfish (Trachelyopterus galeatus, Auchenipteridae). J. Morphol., 275: 65–75. doi: 10.1002/jmor.20197
- Issue published online: 9 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 11 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 4 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 9 APR 2013
- inseminating fish;
- ovarian lamella;
- basement membrane
The reproductive system of some fish species presents elaborate mechanisms by which the females store spermatozoa inside their ovaries, keeping them viable for fertilization for an extended period of time. However, as intriguing as this sperm storage is, it is not yet understood how the sperm can remain viable in the ovary. Aiming to understand this phenomenon, the epithelium covering the ovarian lamellae, that is, the germinal epithelium, of the Cangati (Trachelyopterus galeatus), an inseminating catfish, was evaluated taking into account the different stages of the annual reproductive cycle. The germinal epithelium morphology changed during the annual reproductive cycle, presumably in preparation to receive the spermatozoa and keep them viable until fertilization. There was a progressive increase of the epithelium height. Also the number of intercellular junctions, desmosomes, and extended tight junctions, apparently increased forming chains that could be regarded as a barrier to isolate the sperm from the female immune system. Synthetic organelles were active releasing cytoplasmic granules and secretion in the epithelial enfolds in which the spermatozoa were deeply embedded. Concomitantly, oogonium nests were formed in the germinal epithelium during early folliculogenesis. J. Morphol. 275:65–75, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.