The ovaries of Hipposideros speoris were studied histologically and histochemically for the enzymes, 3β-hydroxysteriod dehydrogenase (3β-HSDH), Succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) and lipid from July 2005 to 2006. The interstitial cells or so called “epithelial cords” showed variations in their distribution, morphology, enzymic and their association with other ovarian structures. These cords appear to be formed in the ovarian cortex by the transformation of granulosa of the primordial follicles and small preantral follicles whose ova regress and disappear. Mostly these cords were conspicuous, hypertrophied, abundant and in clusters or in zones occupying a major portion of the cortex during 4 to 5 months of gestation and also during lactation. Both histological and histochemical studies revealed their significance as steroidogenic cells. The frequency with which these structures were observed during pregnancy made it obligatory to conclude that they have a certain significant role in ovarian physiology in overtaking the function of corpus luteum after its regression.
Key words: Chiroptera, Hipposideros, ovary, epithelial cords.
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