, Volume 227, Issue 1, pp 139-151

A light- and electron-microscopic study on the migration of primordial germ cells in the teleost, Oryzias latipes

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The primordial germ cells (PGCs) of Oryzias latipes in migration to the gonadal anlage have been investigated by light and electron microscopy. The ultrastructure of the PGCs, which occur in the subendodermal space on the syncytial periblast, differ conspicuously from that of the surrounding endodermal cells. After the PGCs move to the cavity between lateral plate and ectoderm, they are taken into the somatomesodermal layer and transferred to the dorsal mesentery where they form gonadal anlage with mesodermal cells. During their translocation to the dorsal mesentery through the somatic mesoderm, apparently without formation of pseudopods, the PGCs are completely surrounded by mesodermal cells. Since these conditions seem unfavorable to the active translocation of the PGCs to the dorsal mesentery, it is more likely that the PGCs are transferred passively by the morphogenic activity of the lateral-plate mesoderm.

Counts of the number of the PGCs revealed that they are mitotically dormant during the migratory period. After the completion of the migration, they regain their proliferative activity. The PGCs in the female proliferate more actively than those in the male, which provides the first morphological indication of sex differentiation in this species of fish.