open access

Vol 77, No 4 (2018)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2018-03-30
Submitted: 2017-12-29
Accepted: 2018-03-01
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Stress-induced changes in the aged-rat adrenal cortex. Histological and histomorphometric study

S. M. Zaki, F. A. Abdelgawad, E. A.A. El-Shaarawy, R. A.K. Radwan, B. E. Aboul-hoda
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2018.0035
·
Pubmed: 29611160
·
Folia Morphol 2018;77(4):629-641.

open access

Vol 77, No 4 (2018)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2018-03-30
Submitted: 2017-12-29
Accepted: 2018-03-01

Abstract

Background: Stress exposure exerts direct effects on the morphology and functionality of the adrenal cortex. In addition, ageing effects growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cellularity of the cortex. The missing data is the combined effect of stress and ageing on the adrenal cortex. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the structural changes in the adrenal cortex following the exposure to stress in the adult and aged albino rats.

Materials and methods: Forty rats were divided into groups I and II (adult and senile). Each group was further subdivided into subgroups a and b (control and stressed). Light and electron microscopic studies were done. Area per cent of collagen fibres (Masson’s trichrome-stained sections), number of proliferating cells (optical density immunoreactivity in the Ki67 stained sections) and thickness of the three adrenal zones were also measured.

Results: Lamellar separation of the capsule with subcapsular spindle cell hyperplasia and areas of ghost cells were observed in zona glomerulosa (ZG) and zona fasciculata (ZF) in group I-b. Separation and indentation of the capsule with its lamellar separation were observed in group II-a with the existence of multiple scattered degenerative foci in ZF and zona reticularis (ZR). Similar and aggressive was the architectural pattern of ZF in group II-b with the presence of areas of homogenous degeneration. The nuclei of ZG had marginated chromatin in group I-b and were pyknotic with deformed irregular outlines in group II-b. Multiple lysosomes and vacuolar degeneration mitochondria were also seen in group I-b.

The nuclei of ZF were irregular with condensed marginated heterochromatin in group I-b, irregular with scattered chromatin in group II-a and indented with areas of chromatin destruction in group II-b. Mitochondria with disrupted cristae and cristolysis were also detected in group I-b. Numerous lipofuscin granules and dilated smooth endoplasmic reticulum were revealed in group II-b. The mean collagen fibre area per cent and the mean number of the proliferating cells in group II-b were significantly higher by 39% and 23%. The thickness of ZG decreased significantly by 20% in group I-b. Contrary, the thickness of both ZF and ZR increased significantly by 10% in group I-b.

Conclusions: Histological alterations occurred in the adrenal cortex in response to stress, especially when coupled with the advance of age. This was accompanied by increase in the area per cent of collagen fibres and increase in the mean number of the proliferating cells in the adrenal cortex.

Abstract

Background: Stress exposure exerts direct effects on the morphology and functionality of the adrenal cortex. In addition, ageing effects growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cellularity of the cortex. The missing data is the combined effect of stress and ageing on the adrenal cortex. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the structural changes in the adrenal cortex following the exposure to stress in the adult and aged albino rats.

Materials and methods: Forty rats were divided into groups I and II (adult and senile). Each group was further subdivided into subgroups a and b (control and stressed). Light and electron microscopic studies were done. Area per cent of collagen fibres (Masson’s trichrome-stained sections), number of proliferating cells (optical density immunoreactivity in the Ki67 stained sections) and thickness of the three adrenal zones were also measured.

Results: Lamellar separation of the capsule with subcapsular spindle cell hyperplasia and areas of ghost cells were observed in zona glomerulosa (ZG) and zona fasciculata (ZF) in group I-b. Separation and indentation of the capsule with its lamellar separation were observed in group II-a with the existence of multiple scattered degenerative foci in ZF and zona reticularis (ZR). Similar and aggressive was the architectural pattern of ZF in group II-b with the presence of areas of homogenous degeneration. The nuclei of ZG had marginated chromatin in group I-b and were pyknotic with deformed irregular outlines in group II-b. Multiple lysosomes and vacuolar degeneration mitochondria were also seen in group I-b.

The nuclei of ZF were irregular with condensed marginated heterochromatin in group I-b, irregular with scattered chromatin in group II-a and indented with areas of chromatin destruction in group II-b. Mitochondria with disrupted cristae and cristolysis were also detected in group I-b. Numerous lipofuscin granules and dilated smooth endoplasmic reticulum were revealed in group II-b. The mean collagen fibre area per cent and the mean number of the proliferating cells in group II-b were significantly higher by 39% and 23%. The thickness of ZG decreased significantly by 20% in group I-b. Contrary, the thickness of both ZF and ZR increased significantly by 10% in group I-b.

Conclusions: Histological alterations occurred in the adrenal cortex in response to stress, especially when coupled with the advance of age. This was accompanied by increase in the area per cent of collagen fibres and increase in the mean number of the proliferating cells in the adrenal cortex.

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Keywords

stress, ageing, adrenal cortex

About this article
Title

Stress-induced changes in the aged-rat adrenal cortex. Histological and histomorphometric study

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 77, No 4 (2018)

Pages

629-641

Published online

2018-03-30

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2018.0035

Pubmed

29611160

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2018;77(4):629-641.

Keywords

stress
ageing
adrenal cortex

Authors

S. M. Zaki
F. A. Abdelgawad
E. A.A. El-Shaarawy
R. A.K. Radwan
B. E. Aboul-hoda

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