A histo-morphological study of the testis of the sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) as reference for future toxicological assessments

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49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) has recently been shown to be a useful indicator species of oestrogen polluted waters in South Africa (Barnhoorn et al., 2004). Knowledge of the normal reproductive biology of this species is important to be able to assess the morphological changes caused by the exposure to potentially harmful toxicants including endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs). Eleven sexually mature C. gariepinus males were selected from an aquarium population bred through hormone induced spawning in reconstituted reverse osmosis water. The fish were reared under controlled conditions averting exposure to potentially EDCs and allowing the description of the normal testis histomorphology of unexposed healthy specimens. The testes of C. gariepinus are paired elongated organs situated in the dorsal region of the visceral cavity. Histologically, the testes possess a lobular organization enclosed by a thin tunica albuginea. Depending on the tissue region, each seminiferous lobule contains some or all of the various developmental stages of spermatogenesis including a single primary spermatogonia, groups of secondary spermatogonia, cysts of primary and secondary spermatocytes, spermatids, and spermatozoa. Nutritive Sertoli cells are visible on the periphery of the seminiferous lobules. Interstitial tissue (including groups of Leydig cells) and blood vessels constitute most of the interlobular space. It is expected that the histological results of this study will contribute to a currently limited, but growing gonadal histological database for southern African freshwater fish species to serve as reference in future toxicity assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Ichthyology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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