Structural organization and epithelial cell types of the intestinal diverticula (protopancreas) of ammocoetes of southern hemisphere lampreys: functional and phylogenetic implications
Bartels, H. and Potter, I.C. (1995) Structural organization and epithelial cell types of the intestinal diverticula (protopancreas) of ammocoetes of southern hemisphere lampreys: functional and phylogenetic implications. Cell and Tissue Research, 280 (2). pp. 313-324.
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Larvae of the two southern hemisphere lamprey genera, Mordacia and Geotria, possess one and two intestinal diverticula, respectively, each originating at the oesophageal-intestinal junction. These diverticula comprise an inner layer of simple columnar epithelium composed solely of zymogen and mucous cells, a middle layer consisting mainly of a blood sinus, and an outer serosa layer covered by a simple squamous epithelium (mesothelium). The inner surface is highly folded only in Mordacia. The secretion of mucus probably protects the epithelium from the effects of digestive enzymes secreted by the zymogen cells and/or bile, which enters the diverticulum at its tip. Unlike the situation in southern hemisphere lampreys, the zymogen cells of the larvae of holarctic lampreys are located in the anterior intestine, a condition considered to be 'primitive'. It is thus proposed that intestinal diverticula were developed during the evolution of southern hemisphere lampreys. The relocation of zymogen cells in the diverticula increases the area for these cells, and thus the capacity for the synthesis and secretion of digestive enzymes, particularly in Mordacia where the inner surface is folded.
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