Morphological changes in the clasper gland of the Atlantic stingray, Dasyatis sabina, associated with the seasonal reproductive cycle
Abbreviated Journal Title
clasper gland; Dasyatis sabina; proliferating cell nuclear antigen; PCNA; reproduction; stingray; ST JOHNS RIVER; EURYHALINE ELASMOBRANCH; FLORIDA; SALINITY; ATPASE; FISHES; GILLS; Anatomy & Morphology
The clasper gland of the Atlantic stingray, Dasyatis sabina, was examined over a 1-year period, covering an entire reproductive cycle. Changes in clasper gland tissue architecture, fluid production, and cell proliferation were assessed. No changes in tissue architecture were observed. Evidence of cell proliferation in the gland epithelium was not detected using immunocytochemistry for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, a cellular marker of mitosis. Epithelial cells were not observed to undergo mitosis, and cell membranes remained intact. The lack of structural changes and epithelial cell proliferation supports the proposed merocrinal mode of fluid secretion. Rays captured in nonbreeding months had clasper glands that exhibited tubules with reduced lumens. In contrast, rays caught during the breeding season had clasper gland tubules with enlarged lumens. Clasper gland fluid production was quantified, through measurements of the fluid area and tubule area calculated from digital images. Clasper gland fluid production was significantly higher during the mating period than during months not associated with copulatory activity. These datasupport the notion that the clasper gland is involved in stingray copulatory activity. This study adds to the limited amount of literature focused on this poorly understood component of reproduction in skates and rays. J. MbTphol. 267:109-114, 2006. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Morphology
"Morphological changes in the clasper gland of the Atlantic stingray, Dasyatis sabina, associated with the seasonal reproductive cycle" (2006). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 7889.