Supplementary Material for: The XY Body of the Cat (Felis catus): Structural Differentiations and Protein Immunolocalization

The heteromorphic X and Y chromosomes behave in a special way in mammalian spermatocytes; they form the XY body and synapse only partially. The aim of this article was to study the origin and the role of the special differentiations in the XY pair of the domestic cat during pachytene by analyzing its fine structural characteristics and the immunolocalization of the main meiotic proteins SYCP3, SYCP1, SYCE3, SMC3, γ-H2AX, BRCA1, H3K27me3, and MLH1. The cat XY body shows particularly striking structures: an extreme degree of axial fibrillation in late pachynema and a special location of SYCP3-containing fibrils, bridging different regions of the main X axis, as well as one bridge at the inner end of the pairing region that colocalizes with the single mandatory MLH1 focus. There are sequential changes, first bullous expansions, then subdivision into fibrils, all involving axial thickening. The chromatin of the XY body presents the usual features of meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. An analysis of the XY body of many eutherians and metatherians suggests that axial thickenings are primitive features. The sequential changes in the mass and location of SYCP3-containing fibers vary among the clades because of specific processes of axial assembly/disassembly occurring in different species.