The fine structure of the epithelial cells of one component of the prostatic complex of the mouse—the ventral lobe—has been investigated by electron microscopy. This organ is composed of small tubules, lined by tall simple cuboidal epithelium, surrounded by smooth muscle and connective tissue. Electron micrographs of the epithelial cells of the ventral lobe show these to be limited by a cell membrane, which appears as a continuous dense line. The nucleus occupies the basal portion of the cell and the nuclear envelope consists of two membranes. The cytoplasmic matrix is of moderately low density. The endoplasmic reticulum consists of elongated, circular, and oval profiles representing the cavities of this system bounded by rough surfaced membranes. The Golgi apparatus appears localized in a region between the apical border and the nucleus, and is composed of the usual elements found in secretory cells (3, 9). At the base of the cells, a basement membrane is visible in close contact with the outer aspect of the cell membrane. A space of varying width, which seems to be occupied by connective tissue, separates the epithelial cells from the surrounding smooth muscle fibers and the blood vessels. Bodies with the appearance of portions of the cytoplasm, mitochondria, or profiles of the endoplasmic reticulum can be seen in the lumina of the acini and on the bases of these pictures and others of the apical region the mechanism of secretion by these cells is discussed. The fine structural organization of these cells is compared with that of another component of the mouse prostate—the coagulating gland.

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