Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The ultrastructure of granules in the secretory cells of the endosalpinx of 20 Merino ewes was examined on days 1, 2, 3, and 4 post coitum. Based on the different frequency of granules of different size and structure on days one to four post coitum, one can assume that the ovoid, membrane bounded secretory granules mature in five successive stages. In stage I small, electron-lucent vesicles with a finely granulated and filamentous content become apparent, initially in the neighbourhood of the Golgi complex. In stage II the granules become larger and progressively more eletron-dense by an increase of the granulated material. In stage III, the primarily granulated content forms membranes, that lie in characteristic stacks at different angles to one another, separated by electron-dense areas. This structure fragments when the granule comes to lie beneath the surface of the cell (stage IV) and opens into the lumen of the oviduct, where its content is discharged in membrane fragments or vesicles (stage V). This discharge is mainly observed shortly before the egg is transported into the uterus.
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