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Open Life Sciences

formerly Central European Journal of Biology

Editor-in-Chief: Ratajczak, Mariusz

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Volume 7, Issue 4


Volume 10 (2015)

Effect of acute heat stress on rat adrenal cortex — a morphological and ultrastructural study

Dragana Petrovic-Kosanovic
  • Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
  • Centre for Electron Microscopy, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
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/ Ksenija Velickovic
  • Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
  • Centre for Electron Microscopy, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
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/ Vesna Koko
  • Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
  • Centre for Electron Microscopy, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
  • Institute for Medical Research, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
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/ Nebojsa Jasnic / Gordana Cvijic / Maja Miloševic
  • Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
  • Centre for Electron Microscopy, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
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Published Online: 2012-06-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11535-012-0055-y


The stereological structure of rat adrenal gland was analysed by light and electron microscopy after an acute (60 min) exposure to high ambient temperature (38°C). Under these conditions a significant increase in plasma corticotrophin (ACTH), serum corticosterone and aldosterone levels were observed. Histological and stereological investigation at light microscopy showed significant decrease in volume density of capsule and zona glomerulosa, increase in volume of fasciculata cells, and decrease of numerical density of zona fasciculata cells and mean diameter of blood vessels. At the ultrastructural level, volume density of nuclei and mitochondria of zona glomerulosa cells were significantly increased and that of lipid droplets decreased. Volume density of mitochondria of fasciculata cells was significantly increased, while number of lipid droplets per µm2 of cell was reduced. In the cells of zona reticularis significant increase in the number of lipid droplets was found. The response of zona glomerulosa may be interpreted as immediate reaction to dehydration, while alterations detected in zona fasciculata, which were less extensive, were related to purely stressogenic effects of high ambiental temperature.

Keywords: Adrenal gland; Heat stress; Ultrastructure; Mitochondria; Lipid droplets

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About the article

Published Online: 2012-06-03

Published in Print: 2012-08-01

Citation Information: Open Life Sciences, Volume 7, Issue 4, Pages 611–619, ISSN (Online) 2391-5412, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11535-012-0055-y.

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© 2012 Versita Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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