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Cell Tissue Res. 1987 Aug;249(2):257-65.

Postnatal development of epididymis and ductus deferens in the rat. A correlation between the ultrastructure of the epithelium and tubule wall, and the fluorescence-microscopic distribution of actin, myosin, fibronectin, and basement membrane.

Abstract

The postnatal maturation of regions of the epididymis and intragonadal segment of the deferens duct was studied in the rat by light- and transmission electron microscopy. Maturation of the genital duct starts in the distal cauda epididymidis and ductus deferens after one week of life, and one week later, in the more cranial segments of the epididymis. Epithelial principal cells and peritubular contractile cells are structurally mature 35 days after birth. The synchronous changes of these cells indicate that the same factors control their postnatal maturation. The epithelial principal cells obtain an endocytotic apparatus and long stereocilia, whereas peritubular cells acquire contractile features. These changes are associated with a progressive increase in the immunoreaction for smooth muscle actin in both cell types. Smooth muscle myosin is detected in the apical region of the epithelial cells and the peritubular cell cytoplasm by day one of postnatal development. The differentiation of contractile cells in the wall is accompanied by progressive organization of the pericellular matrix into a continuous basement membrane. Although fibronectin is visible at birth, it is gradually removed from the tubule wall.

PMID:
3621300
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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