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PLoS One. 2015 Mar 17;10(3):e0120412. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120412. eCollection 2015.

Changes of phosphatidylcholine and fatty acids in germ cells during testicular maturation in three developmental male morphotypes of Macrobrachium rosenbergii revealed by imaging mass spectrometry.

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Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Department of Anatomy, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand.
Health Innovation and Technology Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan.
Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Shizuoka, Japan.
Mahidol University, Nakhonsawan Campus, Nakhonsawan, Thailand.
Pro Vice-Chancellor's Office, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.


Testis maturation, germ cell development and function of sperm, are related to lipid composition. Phosphatidylcholines (PCs) play a key role in the structure and function of testes. As well, increases of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), especially arachidonic acid (ARA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential for male fertility. This study is the first report to show the composition and distribution of PCs and total fatty acids (FAs) in three groups of seminiferous tubules (STs) classified by cellular associations [i.e., A (STs with mostly early germ cells), B (STs with mostly spermatids), and C (STs with spermatozoa)], in three morphotypes of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, [i.e., small male (SM), orange claw male (OC), and blue claw male (BC)]. Thin layer chromatography exhibited levels of PCs reaching maxima in STs of group B. Imaging mass spectrometry showed remarkably high signals corresponding to PC (16:0/18:1), PC (18:0/18:2), PC (18:2/20:5), and PC (16:0/22:6) in STs of groups A and B. Moreover, most signals were detected in the early developing cells and the intertubular area, but not at the area containing spermatozoa. Finally, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry indicated that the major FAs present in the testes were composed of 14:0, 16:0, 17:0, 18:0, 16:1, 18:1, 18:2, 20:1, 20:2, 20:4, 20:5, and 22:6. The testes of OC contained the greatest amounts of these FAs while the testes of BC contained the least amounts of these FAs, and there was more EPA (20:5) in the testes of SM and OC than those in the BC. The increasing amounts of FAs in the SM and OC indicate that they are important for spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis. This knowledge will be useful in formulating diets containing PUFA and HUFA for prawn broodstocks in order to improve testis development, and lead to increased male fecundity.

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