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Title: Analysis of the cytoskeleton organization and its possible functions in male earthworm germ-line cysts equipped with a cytophore
Authors: Małota, Karol
Świątek, Piotr
Keywords: Intercellular bridges; F-actin; Microtubules; Spermatogenesis; Cytoskeletal drugs
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Cell and Tissue Research, Vol. 366 (2016), s. 175–189
Abstract: We studied the organization of F-actin and the microtubular cytoskeleton in male germ-line cysts in the seminal vesicles of the earthworm Dendrobaena veneta using light, fluorescent and electron microscopy along with both chemically fixed tissue and life cell imaging. Additionally, in order to follow the functioning of the cytoskeleton, we incubated the cysts in colchicine, nocodazole, cytochalasin D and latrunculin A. The male germ-line cells of D. veneta are interconnected via stable intercellular bridges (IB), and form syncytial cysts. Each germ cell has only one IB that connects it to the anuclear central cytoplasmic mass, the cytophore. During the studies, we analyzed the cytoskeleton in spermatogonial, spermatocytic and spermatid cysts. F-actin was detected in the cortical cytoplasm and forms distinct rings in the IBs. The arrangement of the microtubules changed dynamically during spermatogenesis. The microtubules are distributed evenly in whole spermatogonial and spermatocytic cysts; however, they primarily accumulate within the IBs in spermatogonia. In early spermatids, microtubules pass through the IBs and are present in whole cysts. During spermatid elongation, the microtubules form a manchette while they are absent in the cytophore and in the IBs. Use of cytoskeletal drugs did not alter the general morphology of the cysts. Detectable effects—the occurrence of nuclei in the late spermatids and manchette fragments in the cytophore—were observed only after incubation in nocodazole. Our results suggest that the microtubules are responsible for cytoplasmic/organelle transfer between the germ cells and the cytophore during spermatogenesis and for the positioning of the spermatid nuclei.
DOI: 10.1007/s00441-016-2398-6
ISSN: 0302-766X
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