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Histology and ultrastructure of the adrenal gland of the greater cane rats (<i>Thryonomis swinderianus</i>, Temminck 1827)

Casmir Onwuaso Igbokwe


The adrenal glands of domesticated greater cane rats (Thryonomys swinderianus), were studied using histological and ultrastructural techniques. A total of seven (7) adult male greater cane rats, aged from 10-14 months, with an average weight of 1.89 kg (range: 1.6 -2.2 kg) were used in this study. The results showed variations in the thickness of the zones of the cortex and medulla. Histological detail did not differ significantly from that of other rodents. Ultrastructural features showed typical adrenal gland zonation with capsule, cortical cells and medulla. In the cortex copious lipid droplets and myelin bodies were present. The cortical cells of the zona fasciculata contained concentric whorls of rough endoplasmic reticulum that enclosed2-3 mitochondria. Adrenaline storing (A) and noradrenaline-storing (NA) chromaffin cells along with few vesicular ganglion cells were identified in the medulla. The functional significance of the present observation is discussed.

Keywords: adrenal gland, cane rats, histology, ultrastructure