Revealing histological and morphological features of female reproductive system in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri)

Shan Zhong, Shi-yao Zhang, Hui-jie Xing, Xiao-tan Zhang, Guang Wang, Yong-ping Bao, Jian-nan Fu, Xuesong Yang

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The tree shrew has been used as a primate animal model in neuroscience studies but it has only rarely been employed in the study of reproductive systems. This is mainly because we know very little about the histological features of reproductive organs of the tree shrew. In this study, we have systematically analyzed the histology of reproductive organs of tree shrew, in comparison with human organs. The uterus of female tree shrew is uterus biomes unicolis, which is connected with an enveloped ovary through a thin fallopian tube. Histologically, the fallopian tube consists of folded mucosa, muscularis and serosa. Like other mammalian animals, the different developmental stages (primordial, primary, secondary and Graafian follicles) of ovarian follicles including inner oocyte and outer granulosa cells are embedded in the cortex. The luminal endometrium, middle muscular myometrium and serosa constitute the wall of uterus of tree shrew. The uterine endometrium contains simple columnar ciliated cells and goblet cells, and there are rich uterine glands in underlying stroma. Furthermore, these glands of tree shrew are round and smaller during anestrus, and become much longer when they are in estrus. The uterine endometrium in younger animals was less developed when compared to a mature tree shrew. Compared to human uterine endometrium, the histological features of tree shrew are very similar, indicating that it could potentially be good primate animal model for studying the diseases in reproductive system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191–199
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Early online date29 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Tree shrew
  • Reproductive organ
  • Histological features
  • Endometrium

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