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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2007 Jul;147(3):731-42. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

The role of vitellogenin during gestation of Girardinichthys viviparus and Ameca splendens; two goodeid fish with matrotrophic viviparity.

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Laboratorio de Toxicología Acuática, Departamento de Farmacia, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, IPN. Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n, Col. Plutarco Elías Calles Casco de Santo Tomás, DF CP 11340, México.


Goodeid fish have matrotrophic viviparity, and unlike lecitotrophic fish, yolk loss forces the female to provide the nutritional requirements for embryonic development. Vitellogenin (VTG) is the yolk precursor protein synthesized in the maternal liver, but there is only circumstantial evidence regarding VTG supply during the ontogenesis of bony fish with matrotrophic viviparity. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to identify and quantify VTG during gestation of the black fin goodeid Girardinichthys viviparus and the butterfly split-fin goodeid Ameca splendens. Females at different gonadic developmental stages were selected in order to evaluate VTG mRNA expression in the maternal liver using RT-PCR; VTG quantification in maternal muscle and liver, as well as in the embryos, was done using ELISA, and immunohistochemical detection of VTG was done in the black fin goodeid. The results suggest that VTG supplies nutrients during embryonic development of both species, which have different life histories. It is possible that the transition from lecitotrophy to matrotrophic viviparity in bony fish with intraluminal gestation involved adaptive transition strategies that included changes in the relationship between oocytes and follicular cells, as well as a gradual loss of VTG synthesis during embryonic development.

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