Publication date: Available online 14 May 2017
Author(s): Antonio-Rubio Nivia Rocio, Villagrán-SantaCruz Maricela, Moreno-Mendoza Norma
Among vertebrates, several specific proteins are involved in the function and development of gonads. Several genes such as SOX9, FOXL2, DDX4, IFITM3, and DPPA3, are active during embryonic differentiation and maintain their expression in adult tissues, playing important roles in the function and development of the line cell, where these are produced. Among reptiles, molecular mechanisms for sex differentiation have been analyzed in turtles, crocodiles, and some lizards, while in adult stages such studies are scarce. The aim of this study was to locate and analyze the distribution of important gonadal proteins in adult and embryonic ovaries and testes of the oviparous lizard Sceloporus aeneus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae). Adult specimens and embryos of the lizard S. aeneus were collected in Milpa Alta, a suburb located Southwest of Mexico City. Expression of gonadal proteins was analyzed using immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy. Our results showed that SOX9 is located in Sertoli cells of embryonic and adult testes. FOXL2 is expressed in follicular cells of adult ovaries. DDX4 and IFITM3 are located in germ line cells as well as in follicular cells of adult ovaries. DPPA3 was observed in somatic and germ line cells of adult and embryonic gonads. Our observations show that important molecules of vertebrate ovaries and testes are conserved in S. aeneus and it is suggested that these may have a similar role during gonadal development and function.