The ovaries of 10- to 13-week-old rats were exteriorized and irradiated with sterilizing doses of X-rays. Following treatment, the animals entered a phase of constant vaginal cornification. Animals were killed 8 to 12 wk after the onset of this phase, and their ovaries were prepared for electron microscopy. Tissue was fixed in glutaraldehyde, postfixed in osmium tetroxide (Millonig's, phosphate-buffered), and embedded in Epon. Lutein cells from these ovaries were compared with those from sham-irradiated controls. The cytoplasm of lutein cells from experimental animals was characterized by an increase in the amount of agranular endoplasmic reticulum and by an increase in the number of mitochondria. These mitochondria are more variable in external form and often possess increased numbers of villiform cristae. Other features noted were a decrease in the amount of cytoplasmic lipid granules and an increase in cell size and surface irregularity. The significance of the morphological findings is discussed in relation to ovarian hormone production in animals sterilized by X-irradiation.

This content is only available as a PDF.