We identified adhesive junctions and gap junctions between Sertoli cells, between Sertoli and germ cells and between germ cells in the testis of P. fasciatum, a catfish of commercial relevance. To investigate the role of these junctions in spermatogenesis, as well as the molecular composition of the junctions, we performed an immunohistochemistry light microscopy as well as an immunogold labelling electron microscopy study with antibodies to adhesive and gap junctions proteins. Testes that were at different stages of spermatogenesis were used. Based on our morphological studies we speculate that Sertoli-germ and germ-germ cell adhesive junctions are important for maintaining the three-dimensional structure of the germinal cysts and an organized arrangement of the germ cells inside the cysts. Connexin 32 was identified in the germ cells and in the cysts walls. Our observations also suggest that Sertoli-germ and germ-germ cells gap junctions may be involved in the mechanism of synchronous development of germ cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology