Structural, ultrastructural and immunohistochemical analysis of the vesicular gland in the male greater cane rat (Thryonomys swinderianus)

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


his study reports the structure, ultrastructure, morphometry and distribution patterns of the two estrogen receptors in the vesicular glands of the male greater cane rat. Samples of vesicular glands from 15 sexually mature male greater cane rats raised in captivity were routinely processed for histological, ultrastructural and morphometric analysis, while immunohistochemistry was also carried out using rabbit polyclonal antibodies against estrogen receptors. The vesicular gland in the greater cane rat is a paired transparent elongated branched tube that presents a characteristic Y-shaped outline. The tube is made up of three histological layers: mucosa, muscularis and adventitia with the mucosa thrown into branching and anastomosing folds that form cavities and recesses within it. Though the epithelium is lined by principal and scarce basal cells, the principal cells are, however, of two types-light and dense based on their electron density and cytoplasmic characteristics. A prominent ultrastructural feature of the light principal cells is the presence of abundant mitochondria surrounded by well-developed cisternae of rough endoplasmic reticulum that have dilated edges and small vesicular extensions. The epithelial cells exhibited different patterns of expressions of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and estrogen receptor beta (ERβ). The findings highlight the peculiarities in the structure, ultrastructure and distribution of the estrogen receptors of the vesicular gland of greater cane rat


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


Eur. J. Anat