Smooth muscle actin and vimentin as markers of testis development in the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

Holt, William V. and Waller, J. and Moore, A. and Jepson, Paul D. and Deaville, Robert and Bennett, Peter M. (2004) Smooth muscle actin and vimentin as markers of testis development in the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Journal of Anatomy, 205 (3). pp. 201-211. ISSN 0021-8782. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Testicular development in the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena was examined using animals (n = 192) stranded or by-caught off the coast of England, Wales and Scotland. Classification of animals according to their stage of sexual development was undertaken using gonadal morphology and the distribution of cytoskeletal proteins. Smooth muscle actin (SMA) and vimentin proved particularly useful in this respect; SMA was prominent in the myoid peritubular cells of the adult testis, and two stages of peritubular cell SMA expression could be recognized ('absent' or 'incomplete'). The initial appearance of SMA in peritubular cells was associated with significant increases in body length and body weight (P < 0.001), and occurred during the second year of life. Vimentin, which was prominent in prespermatogonia and spermatogonia, sometimes showed a polarized cytoplasmic distribution. This correlated with a developmental stage at which the seminiferous tubule epithelium becomes populated by germ cells (mean age 1.8 years). Several antibodies were tested for their utility as Sertoli cell markers, but none was found to be specific or useful. Nevertheless, immunohistochemical localization of desmin, GATA-4, Ki67 and androgen receptor was possible despite the poor quality of tissue preservation. This study showed that immunohistochemical classification of these individuals provides a robust basis for the recognition of key physiological stages of sexual development in the male harbour porpoise. This may provide an alternative to the estimation of age, body weight and body length in future analyses aimed at detecting possible adverse effects of environmental pollutants on the reproductive potential of wild marine mammals.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 855TV Times Cited: 1 Cited Reference Count: 28
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: C.G.W.G. van-de-Benderskum
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2008 12:12
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 11:43
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