Abstract

The study of the normal development, differentiation, structure and function of various components of developing follicles in the ovaries of numerous fish species have been a consistent focus of comparative reproduction. The structural and ultrastructural features of gonads from Cichlasoma urophthalmus have received scarce attention. In this work, we realized a descriptive study of female gonads of Cichlasoma urophthalmus. A total of 40 samples were collected in the Veracruz Alvarado Lagoon, Mexico in 2007-2008 period including the windy, dry and rainy seasons. Female gonads were extracted and a portion was fixed in 4% formaldehyde for treatment for routine histology hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and another part was processed for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The gonads were fixed in 3% glutaraldehyde and 2% osmium tetroxide, followed by dehydrated in ethanol 50%, 70%, 80%, 95% and 100% for inclusion in Epon, thin sections were then prepared and were contrasted with lead citrate and uranyl acetate. The process of oocyte development can be divided into five distinct stages (formation of oocytes from oogonia, primary growth, lipid stage, vitellogenesis and maturation). In this work, we found that the primary growth stage is characterized by intense RNA synthesis and the differentiation of the vitelline envelope. Secondary growth starts with the accumulation of lipid droplets in the oocyte cytoplasm (lipid stage), which is then followed by massive uptake and processing of proteins into yolk platelets (vitellogenic stage). During the maturation stage, the lipid inclusions coalesce into a single oil droplet, and hydrolysis of the yolk platelets leads to the formation of a homogeneous mass of fluid yolk in mature eggs. In conclusion, further studies should elucidate structure and ultrastructural changes in the ovarian follicular components, in C. urophthalmus during different stages of oocyte growth.