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Preputial glands of the albino mouse. Still, Susan


The paired preputial glands of the albino mouse, Mus musculus, (Swiss strain) were studied with regard to histology, physiology and basic histochemistry. For the histological study of the development and subsequent aging of the preputial gland, the glands of male and female mice of different ages, ranging from newborn to 12 months old, were used. In order to study the effects of androgens and estrogens upon the macroscopic and microscopic structure of the preputial gland, white Swiss mice were divided into four major groups (according to age and status) each of which were, in turn, divided into subgroups a, b, c, and d for treatment; mice in subgroups a and b received daily subcutaneous injections of testosterone propionate and of estradiol benzoate respectively; mice in subgroup creceived daily subcutaneous injections of the vehicle, sesame oil; mice in subgroup d served as controls. There were, of course, male and female mice in each grouping. Routine histochemical tests for lipids and proteins were carried out on the excised preputial glands of weanling and of young adult mice, of both sexes, in order to localize and to identify the secretory products of the acinar cells. Histologically and physiologically (in terms of response to androgens and estrogens) the preputial glands of the mouse are similar, in most respects, to those of the rat as described by other authors. However, there are apparent differences in the microscopic anatomy and in the histochemistry of these homologous organs; firstly, the presence of an intimate association of the mouse preputial gland with a central hair follicle which persists throughout the lifetime of the animal and which is not found in the rat gland; secondly, the absence of perinuclear proteinaceous granules in the acinar cells of the mouse preputial gland which are present in the acinar cells of the rat preputial gland, in addition to lipid droplets. Lipids, primarily in the form of droplets of neutral fats are, to my knowledge, the only secretory products of the mouse preputial gland. Developmentally, histologically, and histochemically, the preputial gland of the mouse is an excessively developed sebaceous gland and unlike the rat preputial gland which cannot be categorized so simply, belongs to the "monocrine" variety of holocrine gland.

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