Crypt cells are one of three types of olfactory sensory neuron, differing from ciliated and microvillar cells in shape, localization and number, and found only in fish. Although crypt cells are morphologically well characterized, their function remains unclear. They were hypothesized to be involved in reproductive behaviours by detecting sex pheromones, but electrophysiological investigations revealed sensitivity to only amino acids. However, the number of crypt cells in adult guppies is not the same in the two sexes. In this study, we compared the size of the crypt cell population in juvenile guppies during the first 90 days after birth. The purpose of our study was to clarify whether a correlation exists between sex and the number of these olfactory neurons. The data show that guppies reach adult crypt cell density when they become sexually mature. Despite a constant increment in volume during development of the olfactory organ, the minimum density of crypt neurons occurs at similar to 45 days. Moreover, in the early weeks, the density of crypt neurons is greater in males than in females because in females the total number of cells decreases significantly after just 7 days. In adults, however, crypt neurons are found in higher density in females than in males. These findings suggest that the number of crypt cells is sex specific, with independent developmental dynamics between males and females. A role in pheromone detection could explain such a difference, but the early appearance of crypt cells in the first days of life is suggestive of other, not sexually related, functions.

Quantitative analysis of crypt cell population during postnatal development of the olfactory organ of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata (Teleostei, Poecilidae), from birth to sexual maturity

BETTINI, SIMONE;LAZZARI, MAURIZIO;FRANCESCHINI, VALERIA
2012

Abstract

Crypt cells are one of three types of olfactory sensory neuron, differing from ciliated and microvillar cells in shape, localization and number, and found only in fish. Although crypt cells are morphologically well characterized, their function remains unclear. They were hypothesized to be involved in reproductive behaviours by detecting sex pheromones, but electrophysiological investigations revealed sensitivity to only amino acids. However, the number of crypt cells in adult guppies is not the same in the two sexes. In this study, we compared the size of the crypt cell population in juvenile guppies during the first 90 days after birth. The purpose of our study was to clarify whether a correlation exists between sex and the number of these olfactory neurons. The data show that guppies reach adult crypt cell density when they become sexually mature. Despite a constant increment in volume during development of the olfactory organ, the minimum density of crypt neurons occurs at similar to 45 days. Moreover, in the early weeks, the density of crypt neurons is greater in males than in females because in females the total number of cells decreases significantly after just 7 days. In adults, however, crypt neurons are found in higher density in females than in males. These findings suggest that the number of crypt cells is sex specific, with independent developmental dynamics between males and females. A role in pheromone detection could explain such a difference, but the early appearance of crypt cells in the first days of life is suggestive of other, not sexually related, functions.
BETTINI S.; LAZZARI M.; FRANCESCHINI V
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/120269
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