Prenatal development of the adrenal gland in the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius).
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UNLABELLED: With 14 figures and 3 tables SUMMARY: Each adrenal gland consisted of cortex and medulla that developed from different embryological origins and presented different cellular organization. One hundred male or female camel embryos or fetuses with crown vertebral rump lengths (CVRL) that ranged from 0.8 to 117 cm were examined. The adrenal cortex, which is derived from intermediate mesoderm, was first observed in the 0.8-cm CVRL camel embryo. The adrenal cortex initially was combined with the gonad as a thickened region of proliferating cells derived from splanchnic intermediate mesoderm. Adrenocortical tissue was first separated from the gonadal tissue in the 2-cm CVRL camel fetus and was observed as a separate dorso-medial mass of cells. At 2.5-cm CVRL, the adrenocortical tissue was surrounded by a capsule of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, except at its proximal pole, where an invagination was located through which chromaffinoblast cells entered the cortex. The chromaffinoblast cells migrated from the neural crest to form the medulla of the developing adrenal gland. In the 3.5-cm CVRL camel fetus, the adrenocortical cells differentiated into two layers: the inner fetal cortex and the outer definitive cortex. As development proceeded, the fetal cortex degenerated and the definitive cortex formed the zona glomerulosa and zona fasciculata. The zona reticularis did not form until the end of gestation. During prenatal life, the adrenal medulla was much thicker than the cortex.