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Micron. 2013 Jul;50:14-9. doi: 10.1016/j.micron.2013.03.008. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Ultrastructure of germ cells, Sertoli cells and mitochondria during spermatogenesis in mature testis of the Chinese Taihang black goats (Capra hircus).

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Tropical Crop Genetic Resource Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS), Danzhou, Hainan 571737, PR China.


The objective of this study was to describe the ultrastructure of germ cells, Sertoli cells and mitochondria in mature testis of the Chinese Taihang black goat. The characteristics of germ cell nucleus and mitochondria changing during spermatogenesis were investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that the spermatogonium was elliptical, and its nucleus was about 4-5 μm. The round mitochondria can be observed throughout the cytoplasm around the nucleus. Small patches of heterochromatin were distributed throughout the nucleus. Spermatocyte was oval-shaped with a nucleus of about 4-4.5 μm in diameter. The heterochromatin began to attach to the inner surface of the nuclear membrane. Spermatid was about 4 μm and oval in shape. Its nucleus was oval or round and approximately 2-3 μm in diameter. The borderline between nucleus membrane and karyoplasm was distinct. During spermiogenesis, spermatid nucleus was condensed and elongated, and chromatin reached the highest condensation in the mature spermatozoon. The mid-piece was surrounded by mitochondria at the neck region. The sperm tail showed the typical "9+2″ structure, contained axoneme and central singlet microtubules. The nuclei of the Sertoli cells were irregular shaped and showed indentations in the membrane. In the mature testes of goat bucks, abundant mitochondria were around the germ cells and Sertoli cells. The scattered mitochondria were aggregated around the base of the flagellum (axoneme) during the spermatid differentiation stage. In conclusion, the present study showed that the spermatogenic process of Taihang black goat followed the pattern of mammals with some specific.


Capra hircus; Germ cell; Mitochondrion; Sertoli cell; Ultrastructure

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