The coagulating gland in the male greater cane rat (Thryonomys swinderianus): morphological and immunohistochemical features

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


This study reveals the structure, ultrastructure and immunoexpression of oestrogen alpha and beta receptors (ERα and ERβ) in the coagulating glands of the greater cane rat. Gland samples from 15 adult male cane rats were processed for histological and ultrastructural studies while immunohistochemistry was also carried out. Coagulating gland in the cane rat is a paired, triangularly shaped, transparent gland weighing about 1 ± 0.48 g. Histologically, each secretory acinus is composed of folded mucosa surrounded by fibromuscular stroma. The simple columnar epithelium consists of principal cells at different stages of secretion evidenced by their apical blebs of various heights and occasional basal cells. Fine structure of the principal cells revealed the presence of apical blebs that contained secretory granules of varying electron-density, secretory vesicles and vacuoles on both their luminal surfaces and the lumen. While supranuclear cytoplasm contained Golgi apparatus with different cisternal arrangements, the infranuclear part is covered with dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum cisternae. Nuclei, apical bleb and stroma of secretory epithelium all showed positive immunostaining for ERα and ERβ. These findings revealed the prominence of apocrine secretion with no structural evidence of merocrine secretion and the uncommon ERα and ERβ distribution pattern in the coagulating gland of the cane rat.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Folia Morphologica