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The morphological features of boar seminal vesicles were examined by light and transmission microscopy. Boar seminal vesicles consist of glandular tissue arranged in multiple lobules containing a system of ramified secretory tubules. The secretory tubules are composed of a mucosa formed by an epithelium and an underlying lamina propria and, are surrounded by a muscular layer. The epithelium is made up of columnar cells and occasional basal cells. Mast cells are frequently found among epithelial cells. Three types of columnar cells, considered different stages of the secretory cell cycle, are present: principal cells, clear cells and dense cells. Principal cells are functionally differentiated cells characterised by abundant mitochondria, great development of the rough endoplasmic reticulum and presence of secretory granules in their cytoplasm. The apical surface of many principal cells shows apical blebs filled with PAS-positive material. No acid mucosubstances are detected. Microvilli cover the apical surface except in the apical blebs. Dense cells, arranged between principal cells, are also functional differentiated cells but with signs of cellular degeneration. Clear cells are an initial differentiated stage of columnar cells and are characterised by the presence of a poorly developed rough endoplasmic reticulum and by the absence of secretory granules. Proliferating cells are present among columnar cells. Basal cells contain scarce cytoplasm, few organelles and no secretory granules. The lack of mitotic activity in these cells suggests that they do not act as precursors of columnar cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Tissue Cell

Publication Date





79 - 91


Animals, Antigens, Epithelial Cells, Male, Microscopy, Electron, Microscopy, Polarization, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen, Seminal Vesicles, Swine