Munck, Adelheid; David, Charles N.
Cell proliferation and differentiation kinetics during spermatogenesis in Hydra carnea.
In: Development Genes and Evolution, Vol. 194, No. 5: pp. 247-256
Spermatogenesis inHydra carnea was investigated. The cell proliferation and differentiation kinetics of intermediates in the spermatogenesis pathway were determined, using quantitative determinations of cell abundance, pulse and continuous labelling with3H-thymidine and nuclear DNA measurements. Testes develop in the ectoderm of male hydra as a result of interstitial cell proliferation. Gonial stem cells and proliferating spermatogonia have cell cycles of 28 h and 22 h, respectively. Stem cells undergo four, five or six cell divisions prior to meiosis which includes a premeiotic S+G2 phase of 20 h followed by a long meiotic prophase (22 h).
Spermatid differentiation requires 12–29 h. When they first appear, testes contain only proliferating spermatogonia; meiotic and postmeiotic cells appear after 2 and 3 days, respectively and release of mature sperm begins after 4 days. Mature testes produce about 27,000 sperm per day over a period of 4–6 days: about 220 gonial stem cells per testis are required to support this level of sperm differentiation. Further results indicate that somatic (e.g. nematocyte) differentiation does not occur in testes although it continues normally in ectodermal tissue outside testes. Our results support the hypothesis that spermatogenesis is controlled locally in regions of the ectoderm where testes develop.