Distribution of laminin β2, collagen type IV, fibronectin and MMP-9 in ovaries of the teleost fish
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Extracellular matrix in the ovarian follicle has been characterised for several mammalian species but there are no reports that describe the immunolocalisation of the extracellular matrix elements, matrix metalloproteinases, and its relation to plasma 17β estradiol levels and follicular apoptosis during the teleost’s reproductive cycle. The present study used immunohistochemistry to characterise the distribution of laminin β2, collagen type IV, fibronectin and matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9). The TUNEL in situ technique was used to quantify apoptosis and indirect immunofluorimetric to determine plasma 17β estradiol levels. The TUNEL-positive reaction associated with morphological features exhibited follicular apoptosis. During postovulatory follicle involution, the drop in plasma 17β estradiol levels after spawning contributed to the intense apoptosis observed. By immunohistochemical analysis, laminin β2 and collagen type IV were identified as the major constituents of the basement membrane. The loss of integrity of the basement membrane occurred due to lyses of the major constituents, and coincides with increased follicular apoptosis. The integrity of the basement membrane is important for the survival of follicular cells. Furthermore, the MMP-9 results suggest that this enzyme is involved in final oocyte maturation and regression of postovulatory follicles. Fibronectin was observed on the surface of follicular cells of the postovulatory follicle in P. argenteus, this being important for maintaining normal cell adhesion to extracellular matrix. In conclusion, our results suggest that the structure and composition of the extracellular matrix, and plasma 17β estradiol levels related to apoptosis, play an important role during the follicular development and post-spawning involution in teleost fishes.
KeywordsApoptosis 17β estradiol Extracellular matrix Matrix metalloproteinases Ovarian follicle
This work was supported by CNPq, FAPEMIG, CAPES and CODEVASF.
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