The rat lacrimal apparatus includes several glands; among them, the exorbital lacrimal gland plays the central role. Its parenchyma and stroma undergo prominent morphologic changes with age. The parenchymal transformation includes metaplasia of some of its acini and their turning into Harderian gland-like structures (harderization), accumulation of gland ducts (“ductularization”), and morphologic dysplasia—cytomegaly, karyomegaly, and cell and nuclear polymorphism in the other part of acini. All these transformations are hormone-dependent and sex-specific: they more often appear in males. On the final stages of agerelated transformations, the lacrimal gland tissue is morphologically similar to a neoplasm and has neoplastic morphology but no other features of a tumor. Therefore, the rat lacrimal gland is an interesting object to study tissue and cell atypia. In the rat glandular stroma, lymphocytic infiltration and fibrosis appear with age; these changes are similar to processes taking place in human lacrimal apparatus involved in the pathogenesis of senile dry eye syndrome. The spontaneous changes in the rat lacrimal gland, predominantly in male rats, can be used as a model of the human lacrimal apparatus disorders.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 12, 2014
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