Scanning Microscopy


A systematic, comparative study of the accessory sex glands of the adult male rat after androgen withdrawal was carried out. The changes were investigated by using scanning electron microscopy at different intervals after surgical castration. The main common signs of epithelial cell involution were flattening of the cell surface, reduction of the size and number of microvilli, some blurring of the cell borders, cessation of secretory activity and diminution of the luminal volume of the glands. Overall, confident signs of atrophy were evident after one week, and complete epithelial involution was reached by the third week. The epithelial cell atrophy was accompanied by a relative stromal hyperplasia. The new observation seems to be that the process of stroma consolidation is progressing for a considerable time subsequent to the completion of the epithelial involution. This phenomenon is particularly evident in the dorsal prostate, the seminal vesicle and the coagulating gland.

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