The corpora albicantia (CAs) from the ovaries of 39 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) caught in driving fisheries were used, and histologically and immunohistochemically examined. The area of each corpus albicans (CA) and the proportion of that area occupied by elastin were measured using NIH-image software. In all CAs, elastoid material (EM) was apparent although EM area varied in each CA. CAs increased in number with dolphin age. Smaller CAs contained a higher proportion of EM. EM was completely digested by elastase, but not by collagenase. Furthermore, EM was immunostained with anti-α-elastin antibody. These results demonstrated that EM was elastin. The present study is the first to describe the presence of elastin in cetacean CAs. The higher proportion of elastin in small-sized CAs of common dolphins is suggested as the likely cause of the persistence of CA.
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