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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ultrastructure of the uterus in an ovariectomized gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) after administration of exogenous estradiol.

The uterus of an oviparous gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, was analysed after ovariectomized females underwent a period of treatment (up to 14 days) with exogenous estradiol. Analysis focused on the uterine mucosa, which is made up of an epithelial layer and an underlying lamina propria containing the shell glands. These tissues are thought to be responsible for secretion of the eggshell components and were thus chosen for analysis using transmission electron microscopy. In ovariectomized females, the epithelial layer was low and cuboidal with minimal/no differentiation or secretory activity. Treatment with exogenous estradiol resulted in a significant increase in cell height associated with gradual differentiation of the epithelium. Development of non-ciliated cells included production of secretory granules (low electron density) at the apical cell surface. The shell glands showed less obvious changes over the course of treatment. Shell glands contained two cell types: dark cells with darkly staining nuclei and organelles, and light cells with very indistinct nuclei and organelles, except for prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum and free ribosomes. This study provides results consistent with published light microscopy studies for other reptiles and additionally provides ultrastructural details of reptilian uterine development not previously available.[1]


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