SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The anatomy and histology of the adrenal gland in the adult opossum were found to be typical for mammals. The development of the adrenal medulla was also found to follow the typical mammalian pattern. Primitive sympathetic cells were found in both intra- and extra-adrenal locations in the newborn at a time when chromaffin precursor cells were migrating to the adrenal anlage. Pheochromoblasts first appeared within the forming medulla where at a later stage chromaffin cells could be observed forming columns of cells between adjacent sinusoids. Unlike in other mammals, much of this development takes place postnatally when the neonate is in the mother's marsupium. The value of the developing opossum adrenal medulla as an experimental model is stressed, since a significant amount of development takes place in an environment that is accessible to experimental manipulation.