Ultrastructure of the corpus luteum of antarctic seals during pregnancy

Akhouri A Sinha, Albert W. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The fine structure of granulosa lutein cells from three crabeater seals, Lobodon carcinophagus, and two leopard seals, Hydrurga leptonyx, has been studied from early through mid-pregnancy. Analysis of the arrangement and modifications of the cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions has revealed three types of lutein cells throughout the corpus. Type I cell typically possesses a central nucleus and cytoplasm containing very large amounts of smooth and/or fenestrated endoplasmic cisternae which frequently extend from the juxta-nuclear to the periphery of the cell. Type II cell contains a central or eccentric nucleus, moderate amounts of peripheral, smooth and fenestrated cisternae which often form large and concentric membranous whorls, numerous mitochondria and small lipid droplets. Frequently these cells show polarity in the arrangement of the cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions. Type III cell contains predominant large lipid droplets, many mitochondria, and small amounts of smooth and fenestrated cisternae. In light microscopy the type I cell is evenly granular, while the type III cell is highly vacuolated. Type II cells have both granular and vacuolated conditions. Ultrastructural features of type I and II cells suggest that they probably secrete most of the steroids, whereas the primary role of the type III cells appear to be lipid storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalZeitschrift für Zellforschung und Mikroskopische Anatomie
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1972


  • Corpora lutea
  • Crabeater seal
  • Granulosa lutein cells
  • Leopard seal
  • Pregnancy


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