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Age-related Morphological Changes in the Foetal Adrenal of the White Fulani (Zebu) Cattle during the Developmental Period
Aim: The aim of the study is to evaluate the gross, histology and morphometric changes of the adrenal gland during the foetal developmental period of the White Fulani (zebu) cattle in Nigeria, using slaughter house foetal waste.
Study Design: Experimental morphological study was carried out using slaughter house foetal specimens.
Methodology: Gross dissection, routine histology (HE) techniques and measurements of the adrenal gland were employed in this study.
Results: It showed that the topographical position of the foetal adrenals cranial to the kidneys was maintained throughout the foetal age. The weight, length, width and thickness increased with advancing gestation and the differences across the age group were significantly different at p<0.05. Histologically, rudiments of foetal cortical zonation were evident at 70-80 days of gestation and became more distinct with increased age. By 180 days and thereafter, the features of the adrenal zones comprising the zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata and medulla resembled adult adrenal gland. The medulla in all age occupied the greater portion of the organ. The measured histometrical parameters of the capsule, cortex and medulla increased with gestational age and were significantly different at p<0.05. The features observed in this study suggested a strong endocrine function during the foetal growth that could support the stressful environment of the pastorally reared breed of cattle.