Development of the thyroid gland of New-Zealand white rabbit

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Cytology and Histology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt

2 Department of pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt


The development of thyroid glands of New-Zeland rabbits was studied in 28
fetuses (10-30 days) and 28 rabbits (3 days-5 years). The thyroid premordia appeared at the 12th day of gestation as 2 masses of cords and clumps of cells. The gland assumed the bilobed form with a narrow isthmus in between at the 18th day. Small primitive follicles with narrow empty lumina appeared in 14-day-old fetuses. True follicles were recorded in 20-22 days old fetuses while colloid was seen in the lumina of the central follicles at the 24th day. Light (C- or Parafollicular) cells were seen for the first time at the 12th day. With development of the follicles, C-cells appeared between the follicular cells and some of them come in contact with colloid. The ultimobranchial body (UBB) was observed in 20 days old fetuses close to the thyroid anlage and entered into its tissue at the 22nd day. Later on, it gave thyroid-like follicles or ultimobranchial cysts. With the electron microscope (EM) follicular cells of earlydeveloping fetuses were not yet differentiated. They contained few ill-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER) and mitochondria. The organelles became well developed and the cells started to secrete colloid in full term fetuses. The maximum rate of secretory activity was achieved in the glands of adult rabbits. Changes in the thyroid glands during the postnatal life up to 5 years of age (age of senility) were followed up and described.


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