Comparative Anatomy and Histology
Comparative anatomy includes morphometric and histomorphometric studies of the gastrointestinal tract of various animal species such as African mole-rat species (Rodentia, Bathyergidae) to illustrate how they are morphologically adapted for their unique subterranean niche. Various small mammals, including bats and rodent species from Africa and Saudi Arabia, have also been studied. In addition, a PhD study on limb morphology in various mole-rat species is currently underway. Collaborators include Prof Nigel Bennett from the University of Pretoria, Prof. Abdulaziz Alagaili from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Prof William Parker, Duke University, USA.
Various in-depth histology studies are carried out in conjunction with the Division of Medical Physiology. In the past, the histologically observable changes in various organs such as the liver, kidney, pancreas, intestinal goblet cells and peri-aortic fat have been studied in rat models under various treatment conditions. Examples of conditions studied include the effects of a high-calorie diet combined with antiretroviral treatment (ART) and the supplementation of melatonin and rooibos tea in rats receiving ART. Current studies look at the ameliorating effects of green rooibos supplementation (GRT) in rats fed a high-calorie diet on the liver, pancreas and kidney and gastrointestinal tract as observed on histology. A PhD study on the effects of a high sucrose diet on brain histology is currently underway.
For any enquiries about the Comparative Morphology and Clinical Histology team, our research, postgraduate opportunities or collaboration initiatives, please contact Prof Sanet Kotzé