Histological and immunohistochemical investigation on ovarian development and plasma estradiol levels in the swordfish (Xiphias gladius L.)

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A Corriero *
F Acone
S Desantis
D Zubani
(*) Corresponding Author:
A Corriero | support@pagepress.org


The paper reports a histological and immunohistochemical description of oocyte growth and ultrastructural aspects of zona radiata (ZR) formation as well as the relationship between plasma estradiol-17b‚ (E2) levels and ovarian development in swordfish (Xiphias gladius L.) from the Mediterranean Sea. Ovaries were inactive during March to mid April; maturation occurred during late April to June and spawning in June and July. Zona radiata formation starts, as Pas positive material, in oocytes at the lipid stage. In this stage a deposit of electrondense material between oolemma and follicular cells appears. In the cortical alveoli stage and through the early vitellogenic stage, the deposition of a moderately electrondense material occurred on the inner side of the ZR. Finally, in late vitellogenic oocytes a third layer, made of microfibrillar material, appeared. The immunohistochemical analyses revealed that the initial internalisation of hepatic zona radiata proteins (Zrp) in the swordfish oocyte starts before the uptake of vitellogenin (Vtg) and that it is associated with the low previtellogenic E2 plasma levels, while a significant E2 increase in plasma is associated with the beginning of Vtg uptake. This would appear to confirm the hypothesis that the differential and sequential induction of zonagenesis and vitellogenesis may reflect a general feature of teleost oogenesis.

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