Vitellogenin uptake activity in the intestinal ducts of intraovarian embryos in a viviparous teleost Xenotoca eiseni

Jumpei Nomura, Hayato Yokoi, Eiichi Hondo, Atsuo Iida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the viviparous teleost species belonging to the family Goodeidae, intraovarian embryos absorb maternal supplements while they grow during the gestation period. They take up the components via trophotaeniae, a hindgut-derived placental structure. Our previous study using a goodeid species Xenotoca eiseni revealed that intraovarian embryos absorb the yolk protein vitellogenin (Vtg) via the trophotaenia. However, another group indicated yolk components accumulate in the intestinal lumen of X. eiseni embryos. Here, we investigated whether the intestinal duct is capable of protein uptake, as is the trophotaenia. Immunohistochemical studies indicated that endogenous vitellogenin is detected in the intestinal epithelial cells of the intraovarian embryo. Tracer analysis using FITC-Vtg also indicated that intestinal tissues can take up protein. The endocytosis-related genes expressed in trophotaenia were also detected in the intestinal tissues of the embryo. Lipid transporter genes which are not expressed in the trophotaenia were detected in the embryonic intestine. This evidence suggests that the intraovarian embryo of X. eiseni possesses two distinct sites for uptake of the maternal proteins. However, the presumed functions of the embryonic intestine and trophotaenia might be not identical. The study provides a new perspective on how mother-to-embryo matrotrophic interactions have changed in the evolution of viviparous teleosts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 12


  • Goodeidae
  • Histotrophy
  • Intestine
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Viviparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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