Mother-to-embryo vitellogenin transport in a viviparous teleost Xenotoca eiseni

Atsuo Iida, Hiroyuki N. Arai, Yumiko Someya, Mayu Inokuchi, Takeshi A. Onuma, Hayato Yokoi, Tohru Suzuki, Eiichi Hondo, Kaori Sano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Vitellogenin (Vtg), a yolk nutrient protein that is synthesized in the livers of female animals, and subsequently carried into the ovary, contributes to vitellogenesis in oviparous animals. Thus, Vtg levels are elevated during oogenesis. In contrast, Vtg proteins have been genetically lost in viviparous mammals, thus the yolk protein is not involved in their oogenesis and embryonic development. In this study, we identified Vtg protein in the livers of females during the gestation of the viviparous teleost, Xenotoca eiseni. Although vitellogenesis is arrested during gestation, biochemical assays revealed that Vtg protein was present in ovarian tissues and lumen fluid. The Vtg protein was also detected in the trophotaeniae of the intraovarian embryo. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that Vtg protein is absorbed into intracellular vesicles in the epithelial cells of the trophotaeniae. Furthermore, extraneous Vtg protein injected into the abdominal cavity of a pregnant female was subsequently detected in the trophotaeniae of the intraovarian embryo. Our data suggest that the yolk protein is one of the matrotrophic factors supplied from the mother to the intraovarian embryo during gestation in X. eiseni.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22359-22365
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 29


  • Goodeidae
  • Reproduction
  • Trophotaeniae
  • Viviparity


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