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Saturday, 02 May 2009 21:50

Intercellular Channels in the Salt Secreting Glands of Marine Turtles

Richard A. Ellis 1 and John H. Abel Jr. 1

1 Department of Biology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912


Long, pleomorphic microvilli project from the walls of adjacent secretory cells in the lacrymal glands of sea turtles, and a substance identified histochemically as a mucopolysaccharide fills the intercellular channels. These features are not characteristic of the principal secretory cells in the salt glands of marine birds.

Science 12 June 1964:Vol. 144. no. 3624, pp. 1340 - 1342
DOI: 10.1126/science.144.3624.1340



Histochemical and electron microscopic observations on the salt secreting lacrymal glands of marine turtles.

Abel JH Jr, Ellis RA.
Department of Biology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salisbury Cove, Maine


The lobular, compound, branched, tubular, salt-secreting lacrymal glands of two marine turtles, Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta are similar in structure and in histochemical reactivity. Blood from the centrolobular arteries flows through a rich capillary bed counter to the flow of tubule secretion. The capillary endothelium is reactive for adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase). Nerves containing cholinesterase pervade the connective tissue. At the blind ends of the secretory tubules small basophilic peripheral cells contain an abundance of glycogen, monoamine oxidase (MAO) and phosphorylase but little succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) or cytochrome oxidase (CTO). Non-mitochondrial ATPase is concentrated at the luminal interface of these cells. The larger principal cells, lining the major portion of the secretory tubules, are rich in SDH and CTO but contain relatively little glycogen, MAO or phosphorylase. Broad intercellular channels reactive for mucopolysaccharide are formed by intermeshing, pleomorphic microvilli that fringe the extensive lateral surfaces of the principal cells. The cytoplasm of these cells contains profiles of smoothsurfaced endoplasmic reticulum (SSER), abundant mitochondria, and prominent Golgi membranes. Profiles of SSER and small membrane bound vesicles fill the apical cytoplasm but mitochondria are lacking. The luminal secretory border of the cell is extremely limited in area.

Two types of epithelial cells line the duct system: basal cells that react strongly for non-specific esterase and MAO; and goblet cells containing mucopolysaccharide, acid phosphatase, cholinesterase, and ATPase.

The principal cells, close to the arterial blood supply, contain the highest concentrations of oxidative enzymes and have special modifications of the cell surface consistent with their role in salt concentration and secretion.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/aja.1001180203

PMID: 5917190 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

American Journal of Anatomy 1966 Mar; Volume 118 Issue 2, Pages 337 - 357



Ultrastructure of Trypanosoma lewisi: Flagellum, Microtubules, and the Kinetoplast

  1 Department of Biology, Brown University, Providence 12, Rhode Island


With the technique of preselecting pure suspensions of trypanosomes for subsequent electron microscopy and with epoxy resin embedding after glutaraldehyde fixation, we have re-examined the ultrastructure of Trypanosoma lewisi with particular reference to the flagellum and pellicle. The peripheral flagellar tubules exhibit clockwise asymmetry; however, sub-tubule B of the peripheral tubules is divided into a doublet by a diagonally running anti-clockwise arm that originates from the median diaphragm. Projections which seem to be continuous with the counter-clockwise arms extend into a "basket shaped" intra-flagellar structure. This structure, originating distal to the flagellar pocket and running anteriorly within the flagellar membrane, may play a role in maintaining the rigidity of the flagellum.

The central flagellar tubules have a double helical substructure and dense cross-striae (diameter 50 Å), and are regularly arranged at distances of approximately 250 Å. The central tubules arise from separate kinetosomal plates that lie at two different elevations. One central flagellar tubule originates from a flattened kinetosomal plate which makes contact with the peripheral tubules. The other central tubule passes through the flattened plate to fuse with an underlying "disc-like" plate.

The primary kinetosome exhibits the uniform triplet pattern of tubules at its most proximal region. A pair of tubules closely associated with one of the triplets represents two of the four subpellicular tubules which penetrate the cytoplasm in the region of the flagellar pocket. Sub-pellicular tubules of dimensions similar to the flagellar tubules form a uniform cytoskeleton in all regions of the cell except in the area of the flagellar pocket.

A desmosome-like structure maintains continual cell membrane contact with the flagellum and the pellicle. This structure is designated the attachment zone. The fine structure of the kinetoplast is demonstrated. The dense intra-mitochondrial elements (presumably containing DNA) are actually tubules, embedded in a moderately dense matrix. Morphological observations indicate that this organelle is probably primarily concerned with the ontogenesis of mitochondria, and several mitochondria extend from it into the cytoplasm of the cell.

DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIER (DOI): 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1965.tb03247.x

Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology Volume 12 Issue 4, (November 1965) Pages 483 - 499


Blood Vessels and Circulation

By William Montagna, Richard A. Ellis, Brown University

Blood Vessels and Circulation: Proceedings
By William Montagna, Richard A. Ellis, Brown University
Published by Pergamon Press, 1961
156 pages

Eccrine Sweat Glands and Eccrine Sweating

By William Montagna, Richard A. Ellis, Alene F Silver

Proceedings of the Brown University Symposium on the Biology of Skin, 1961

Published by Pergamon Press, 1962
ISBN 0080096956, 9780080096957
266 pages

The Sebaceous Glands

By William Montagna, Richard A Ellis, Alene F Silver, Arnold Biological Laboratory, Brown University

The Sebaceous Glands: Proceedings
By William Montagna, Richard A. Ellis
Published by Pergamon, 1963
ISBN 0080099459, 9780080099453
260 pages

The biology of hair growth

By William Montagna, Richard Akers Ellis

Papers presented at a conference on the biology of hair growth, sponsored by the British Society for Research on Ageing and held at the Royal College of Surgeons, in London, on Aug. 7-9, 1957.

Published by Academic Press, 1958
Original from the University of Michigan
520 pages









Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2009 11:52