Fish physiology and biochemistry

Characterization of gonadotropic cells during continuous and seasonal spermatogenesis of two freshwater fish species: a histochemical and immunohistochemical study.

PMID 27492246


This work describes gonadotropic (GtH) cells and their morphological and immunohistochemical changes during the spermatogenic cycle of Serrasalmus maculatus (continuous spermatogenesis) and Pimelodus maculatus (seasonal spermatogenesis). GtH cells, widely distributed in the proximal pars distalis of the adenohypophysis, were characterized as round-shaped cells with eccentric nucleus, and cytoplasm with basophilic secretory granules and a variable number of vacuoles for both species. Immunohistochemistry against β-follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) and β-luteinizing hormone (Lh) in adjacent sections showed two separated GtH-producing cell populations, and a third population where both GtHs are expressed in the same cell for both species. In the seasonal spermatogenesis of P. maculatus, GtH cells seemed to be more abundant during developing and spawning capable phases. In contrast, no cyclic changes were detected in the continuous spermatogenesis of S. maculatus, except for the strong immunoreaction for Fsh and Lh in males with intense spermiogenesis. We conclude that changes reported here might reflect the type of spermatogenic cycle (seasonal or continuous) which are under different regulatory mechanisms (environmental and internal cues) controlling the reproduction in these species.