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Reproduction. 2013 Nov 16;147(1):13-9. doi: 10.1530/REP-13-0452. Print 2014 Jan.

Ultrastructure of spermatogenesis in Spix's yellow-toothed cavy (Galea spixii).

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Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Dr Orlando Marques de Paiva 87, 05508 270 São Paulo, Brazil.


This was a pioneer study of the spermatogenic process from the onset of puberty in Spix's yellow-toothed cavies (SYC, Galea spixii) bred in captivity. The study aimed to characterize fine structure of spermatogenesis. Twelve testes from pubertal and post-pubertal SYC males were studied using transmission electron microscopy. Spermatogenesis can be divided into three phases: proliferation, meiosis, and spermiogenesis. In proliferation phase, three types of spermatogonia were identified and characterized as A(dark), A(pale), and B. In the second phase, spermatocytes (2n) undergo meiotic divisions that generate spermatids (n); the process begins in spermatocytes in the preleptotene stage when they increase their nuclear size, differentiating into spermatocytes in the leptotene stage when cell division is initiated. In addition, we found chromatin condensation, and formation of a structure composed of proteins that formed a central shaft and two lateral bars associated with pairing of homologous chromosomes. During spermiogenesis, the following main events occurred: condensation of nuclear chromatin, formation of acrosome with perfuratorium, elimination of residual cytoplasm, and development of the flagellum. The sperm head is different from that of other rodents. The endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi complex are the two main organelles demonstrated during this process. These organelles collaborate through synthesis of proteins and hormones for the development of germ cells during spermatogenesis in SYC.

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