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Anatomy of the female reproductive tract organs of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei).

Authors
  • Kircher, Bonnie K1
  • Stanley, Edward L2
  • Behringer, Richard R1
  • 1 Department of Genetics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • 2 Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
307
Issue
2
Pages
395–413
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/ar.25293
PMID: 37506227
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Female reproduction in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) is highly diverse and mode of reproduction, clutch size, and reproductive tract morphology all vary widely across this group of ~11,000 species. Recently, CRISPR genome editing techniques that require manipulation of the female reproductive anatomy have been developed in this group, making a more complete understanding of this anatomy essential. We describe the adult female reproductive anatomy of the model reptile the brown anole (Anolis sagrei). We show that the brown anole female reproductive tract has three distinct anterior-to-posterior regions, the infundibulum, the glandular uterus, and the nonglandular uterus. The infundibulum has a highly ciliated epithelial lip, a region where the epithelium is inverted so that cilia are present on the inside and outside of the tube. The glandular uterus has epithelial ducts that are patent with a lumen as well as acinar structures with a lumen. The nonglandular uterus has a heterogeneous morphology from anterior to posterior, with a highly folded, ciliated epithelium transitioning to a stratified squamous epithelium. This transition is accompanied by a loss of keratin-8 expression and together, these changes are similar to the morphological and gene expression changes that occur in the mammalian cervix. We recommend that description of the nonglandular uterus include the regional sub-specification of a "cervix" and "vagina" as this terminology change more accurately describes the morphology. Our data extend histological studies of reproductive organ morphology in reptiles and expand our understanding of the variation in reproductive system anatomy across squamates and vertebrates. © 2023 American Association for Anatomy.

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