A novel stage-specific antigen is expressed only in early stages of spermatogonia in Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica testis.
ABSTRACT We produced an antibody that recognized only early stages of spermatogonia in Japanese eel testis. This antibody (anti-spermatogonia-specific antigen-1, anti-SGSA-1) recognized a band of about 38 kDa in Western blot analysis of extracts from eel testis. This antigen was observed by immunohistochemistry only in type-A and early type-B spermatogonia and could not be seen in the late type-B spermatogonia, which appeared after the initiation of spermatogenesis by a single injection of human chorionic gonadotropin. Immunoreactive SGSA-1 was absent in spermatocytes, spermatids, spermatozoa, Sertoli cells, and interstitial Leydig cells. Similarly, this antigen was also detected only in type-A/primary spermatogonia in the testes of two species of teleosts, medaka (Oryzias latipes) and tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), as well as a toad (Xenopus laevis). These results imply that the disappearance of SGSA-1 in late type-B/secondary spermatogonia is a critical step in the progression of spermatogenesis, and indicate that anti-SGSA-1 is a useful marker for analysis of the molecular mechanism controlling the differentiation of spermatogonia in lower vertebrates.