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Theriogenology. 2008 Oct 15;70(7):1136-46. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.06.035. Epub 2008 Jul 31.

Duration of spermatogenesis and daily sperm production in the jaguar (Panthera onca).

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Laboratory of Cellular Biology, Department of Morphology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


The jaguar, like most wild felids, is an endangered species. Since there are few data regarding reproductive biology for this species, our main goal was to investigate basic aspects of the testis and spermatogenesis. Four adult male jaguars were utilized; to determine the duration of spermatogenesis, two animals received an intratesticular injection of H(3)-thymidine. Mean (+/-SEM) testis weight and the gonadosomatic index were 17.7+/-2.2g and 0.05+/-0.01%, respectively, whereas the seminiferous tubules and the Leydig cells volume density were 74.7+/-3.8 and 16.7+/-1.6%. Eight stages of spermatogenesis were characterized, according to the tubular morphology system and acrosome development. Each spermatogenic cycle and the entire spermatogenic process (based on 4.5 cycles) lasted approximately 12.8+/-0.01 and 57.7+/-0.07 d. The number of Sertoli and Leydig cells per gram of testis was 29+/-4 x 10(6) and 107+/-12 x 10(6). Based on the number of round spermatids per pachytene spermatocyte (2.8+/-0.3:1; meiotic index); significant cell loss (30%) occurred during the two meiotic divisions. There were approximately eight spermatids for each Sertoli cell (Sertoli cell efficiency), whereas the daily sperm production per gram of testis was 16.9+/-1.2 x 10(6). We expect that in the near future, the knowledge obtained in the present investigation will facilitate, utilizing germ cell transplantation, preservation of the germinal epithelium and the ability to generate sperm from jaguars in testes of domestic cats.

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