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A scanning electron study microscope of the gills of the lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis (L.)

Lewis, S.V. and Potter, I.C. (1976) A scanning electron study microscope of the gills of the lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis (L.). Micron (1969), 7 (3). pp. 205-211.

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The gills of larval and adult lampreys were fixed in 0.1, 5.0 and 25.0% glutaraldehyde and studied with the scanning electron microscope. The secondary lamellae, which alternated on either side of the filaments, were enlarged at their free edge, a feature probably related to the presence in this region of marginal blood vessels. After fixation in 5.0% glutaraldehyde, the surface of the secondary lamellae were seen to be covered with a thick layer of mucus. Only isolated clumps of mucus were present, however, at the very low and very high concentrations of glutaraldehyde and at 0.1%, which yielded the best fixation, it was often virtually absent. Prominent raised edges separated the adjacent cells, and on the cell surface could clearly be detected a mass of short convoluted low microridges. Pores were occasionally observed at the junction of epithelial cells. These are believed to correspond to the apical surface of mucous cells, a view supported by the presence of individual plumes of mucus in these regions of the lamellar surface. It is suggested that fixation with 5.0% glutaraldehyde stimulates discharge of the mucus cells and that mucous is not normally present as a thick layer over the gill epithelium. If this is the case, the microridges increase the surface area by 1.8 times and would produce a very localized area of microturbulence at the cell surface thereby facilitating gaseous exchange.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright: © 1976 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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