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Acta Anat (Basel). 1989;135(4):303-6.

Harderianization is another sexual dimorphism of rat exorbital lacrimal gland.

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Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, Iwate Medical University, Morioka, Japan.


The exorbital lacrimal glands (ELG) of rats were examined for both sexes to determine what degree of harderianization occurred as a function of age and after castration, and to investigate its time course and origin in ELG. Light microscopically, very small Harderian foci were seen in the ELG of both sexes at 3 weeks of age. As the male rats became older, the relative volume of the Harderian gland (HG) cells in the ELG increased. At age 6 months, the value was 1.25 +/- 0.31% in males and 0.13 +/- 0.05% in females (p less than 0.05). After castration, a significant decrease (0.21 +/- 0.01%, p less than 0.05) was observed in that of male ELG. In contrast, in female ELG, HG cells were inconspicuous and the relative volume of those did not vary during this experimental period or after castration. It appeared that the HG cells had developed from undifferentiated basal cells of the acini and the intercalated ducts in the ELG at age 2-6 months. Then, at age 22 months, they also probably developed from those of the excretory ducts of the ELG.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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