Ultracytochemical microscopy was used to characterize lysosomal morphology in luteal cells of normal, pseudopregnant, pregnant and nursing rat ovaries. Based on acid phosphatase (ACPase) reaction products, there were fewer lysosomes in luteal cells of newly formed diestrus-1, 7-day pseudopregnant, and 10-day pregnant corpora lutea than in aging corpora lutea or those of 18-day nursing rats. A unique type of lysosome, the nematolysosome, is described. It is tubular, elongated and thread-like, and only observed in degenerating luteal cells of aging and nursing corpora lutea. They were rarely observed in newly formed diestrus-1, 7-day pseudopregnant or 10-day pregnant corpora lutea where there was active secretion of steroids. The conclusion is that nematolysosomes are not a specialized population of lysosomes, but appear to be an intermediate structure of mobile large lysosomes which are involved in degeneration of endocrine steroidogenic cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology