Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute



In furthering the understanding of the process of spermatogenesis in the greater cane rat, this study describes the ultrastructural spermiogenic transformation and acrosomal formation in the testes of this hystricomorphic rodent that is currently undergoing domestication in parts of West Africa.

Materials and Methods:

Testicular samples were obtained from ten sexually mature cane rats that were perfused-fixed using Karnovsky's fixative (phosphate buffered 2% paraformaldehyde – 2.5% glutaraldehyde fixative at pH 7.4). The samples were processed for ultrastructural analysis and examined under the transmission electron microscope.


The testes of the cane rat showed uniqueness in its cellular associations and the ultrastructure of the spermatogenic cells especially in the formation of the acrosome. The spermatid differentiation and acrosomal formation occurred in 12 steps with the first three steps being the Golgi phase and the next three steps making up the cap phase. While the three steps that follow constitute the acrosomal phase, the last 3 steps make up the maturation phase. At the cap and acrosomal phases, the entire acrosomal system comprising the vesicle and granule covers the head of the spermatids with no clear indentation of the nuclear surface by the formed acrosome. Furthermore, elongated spermatids at the maturation phase contained abundance of nuclear vacuoles.


This work has not only provided information that will further the understanding of spermatogenesis but also aid the understanding of acrosomal reaction in the reproduction of the greater cane rat.


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

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure