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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01219

Starvation Promotes Autophagy-Associated Maturation of the Testis in the Giant Freshwater Prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii

 Wilairat Kankuan1, Chaitip Wanichanon1*, Federica Morani2,  Sirorat Thongrod1,  Rossella Titone2, Tanapan Siangcham1, Matilde Masini3,  Michela Novelli3,  Prasert -. Sobhon1 and  Ciro Isidoro2*
  • 1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • 2Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Department of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy
  • 3Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Italy

Autophagy is a degradative process of cellular components accomplished through an autophagosomal-lysosomal pathway. It is an evolutionary conserved mechanism present in all eukaryotic cells and it plays a fundamental role in maintaining tissue homeostasis both in vertebrates and invertebrates. Autophagy accompanies tissue remodeling during organ differentiation. Several autophagy-related genes and proteins show significant upregulations following nutrient shortage (i.e., starvation). In our previous study we found that in female giant freshwater prawns subjected to a short period of starvation autophagy was up-regulated in consonant with ovarian maturation and oocyte differentiation. Whether and how starvation-induced autophagy impacts on testicular maturation and spermatogenesis of the male prawns remained to be investigated. In this study, we analysed the effects of starvation on histological and cellular changes in the testis of the giant freshwater prawn Macrobachium rosenbergii, that paralleled the induction of autophagy. Under short starvation condition, the male prawns showed increased gonado-somatic index, increased size and late stage of maturation of seminiferous tubules, which contained increased number of spermatozoa. Concurrently, the number of autophagy vacuoles and autophagy flux, as monitored by transmission electron microscopy and the autophagic marker LC3, increased in the testicular cells, indicating that a short period of starvation could induce testicular maturation and spermatogenesis in male M. rosenbergii along with modulation of autophagy.

Keywords: Aquatic organism, Reproduction, autophagy vacuoles, Spermatogenesis, Gonadal maturation

Received: 21 Mar 2019; Accepted: 06 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Kankuan, Wanichanon, Morani, Thongrod, Titone, Siangcham, Masini, Novelli, Sobhon and Isidoro. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
PhD. Chaitip Wanichanon, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, Chaitip.wan@mahidol.ac.th
Prof. Ciro Isidoro, Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Department of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy, Ciro.isidoro@med.uniupo.it