Curimbatá (Prochilodus lineatus) is a South American species of teleost with great commercial and alimentary potential. As a migratory species, reproduction in captivity does not occur without hormonal induction. The ecological importance of this species is attested by its abundant presence in large river basins throughout South America. Its rusticity and iliophagous feeding habits are factors that facilitate the cultivation of this fish in hatchery stations, to use its meat as food as well as for sporting or recreational fishing purposes. The development of methods to ensure or facilitate the maintenance of species of economic and ecological interest (such as the curimbatá and/or endangered species, or those species which have problems in the production and/or release of gametes) is of great interest. Academic researches can contribute to the attainment of these methods through the study of reproduction itself, of the reproductive organs and, in particular, of the regulation processes of differentiation of germ cells. Thus, the establishment of cultures of germ cells and their differentiation into gametes ready for in vitro fertilization would be of great importance, since spermatogenesis is a highly complex process and its regulation is not completely understood. Therefore, the objective of this work is the recognition of testicular germ cells, as well as the standardization of techniques for isolation, maintenance in culture, and differentiation of these primary spermatogonia in vitro. The morphological studies by morphometric, histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis, combined with the specific conditions of cell culture, may explain some aspects of espermatogonial differentiation, while the use of different factors of cell differentiation in culture may enhance the understanding of the regulation of the differential process of germ cells. These results will contribute to future studies aimed at sperm production in vitro.
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