Fine structure of the corpus Luteum of the raccoon during pregnancy

Akhouri A. Sinha, Ulysses S. Seal, Richard P. Doe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ultrastructure of the granulosa lutein cells of the raccoon from throughout pregnancy has been described. The lutein cells often from epithelial cords which are separated by the connective tissues, capillaries and lymphatics. Based on the arrangements and modifications of the cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions, three types of lutein cells have been recognized. The type I lutein cells predominantly contain tubular, agranular endoplasmic reticulum, juxtanuclear Golgi complexes, a few round to rod-shaped mitochondria, some free ribosomes, and occasional lipid droplets. Occasionally the tubular cristae of mitochondria and tubular smooth endoplasmic reticulum appear contiguous. The type II cells contain abundant lace-like and/or stacked fenestrated endoplasmic reticulum cisternae that frequently form membranous whorls, some tubular, agranular endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and lipid droplets. Mitochondria are usually small, but unusual large ones also occur. The small, rod-to round-shaped mitochondria usually have tubular cristae; but the large, oval, elongate, and cup shaped mitochondria possess tubular, lamellar, plate like, and whorl-like cristae. The plasma membranes of the cells are complexly elaborated and folded, especially when apposing each other. In favorable sections, strands of fenestrated cisternae appose the folds of the plasma membranes. In general, the amount of cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions vary greatly in the cells. The type III cells predominantly contain lipid droplets and sparse cytoplasmic organelles. The type I and II cells are found throughout pregnancy, but the type III cells are observed from mid gestation to term. The cytological features of type I and II cells suggest that they probably secrete most of the steroids, whereas the type III cells primarily store lipids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalZeitschrift für Zellforschung und Mikroskopische Anatomie
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1971


  • Corpora lutea
  • Granulosa lutein cells
  • Ultrastructure


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