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Rodler, Daniela; Sinowatz, Fred (2011): Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural characterization of the ovarian surface epithelium of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). In: Animal Science Journal, Vol. 82, No. 2: pp. 307-313
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Contrary to humans, most ovarian tumors in other species do not arise from the ovarian surface epithelium but are of follicular-, stromal- or germ-cell origin. One of the few species where ovarian cancer arises from the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) is chicken (Gallus domesticus). Little is known about the morphology of the OSE in other avian species. In our study we analyzed the OSE morphology of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) using ultrastructural and histochemical techniques. Carbohydrate residues have been studied by using a panel of fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled lectins. Japanese quails are commonly used animal models in biomedical research as their housing is comparatively inexpensive and they show a short generation interval. Our ultrastructural and histochemical results demonstrate that the quail ovarian surface epithelium shows characteristic features which resemble the epithelia of both chicken and human. Additionally, the ovarian surface epithelium of the Japanese quail contains cytokeratin as well as vimentin intermediate filaments in their cytoplasm. Therewith and among other parts the quail OSE shows many characteristic features also seen in those of humans, which may qualify quail's ovary as a potential animal model for human ovarian carcinomas.