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Squamous metaplasia of the rete ovarii in a Zebu cow

Renato Lima Santos1*, Dimitre Giancarlo de Medeiros Peixoto1, Andréia Pereira Turchetti1, Álan Maia Borges1, Ernane Fagundes do Nascimento1 and Tatiane Alves Paixão2

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Clínica e Cirurgia Veterinárias, Escola de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brasil

2 Departamento de Patologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brasil

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BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:235  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-235

Published: 5 December 2012



Stratified keratinizing squamous epithelium in the ovary has been associated with the diagnosis of ovarian teratoma in cows. Recently, the diagnosis of “epidermoid cyst” has been proposed. A case of squamous metaplasia of the rete ovarii in a Zebu cow is described in this report.

Case presentation

A crossbreed Zebu cow had both ovaries enlarged with multiple cysts. Most cysts were lined by well differentiated keratinizing stratified squamous epithelium and filled with keratinized lamellar material. Some cysts were lined by an epithelial layer that ranged from single cuboidal, double cuboidal epithelium, stratified non keratinized epithelium, and areas of keratinizing stratified squamous epithelium. Single or double layered cuboidal epithelia of the cysts expressed low molecular weight cytokeratin 7, whose expression was absent in the keratinizing stratified squamous epithelia of same cysts. Conversely, high molecular weight cytokeratins 1, 5, 10, and 14 were strongly expressed by the keratinizing stratified epithelium.


Squamous metaplasia of the rete ovarii was diagnosed. Squamous metaplasia of the rete ovarii, may account for some of the previously described squamous lesions in the ovary, which may have been misinterpreted as teratoma or epidermoid cysts.

Ovary; Cow; Rete ovarii; Squamous metaplasia; Epidermoid cyst