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Morphology of the salivary glands of three Squamata species: Podarcis sicula sicula, Tarentola mauritanica and Coluber viridiflavus

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Abstract:

Abstract Chieffi Baccari, G., Ferrara, D., Di Matteo, L. and Minucci, S. 2002. Morphology of the salivary glands of three Squamata species: Podarcis sicula sicula, Tarentola mauritanica and Coluber viridiflavus. — Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 83: 117–124

The histology, histochemistry and ultrastructure of the salivary glands of three species of squamata, Podarcis sicula sicula (mandibular glands), Tarentola mauritanica (sublingual gland) and Coluber viridiflavus (supra- and infralabial glands) were studied. Each gland contained acidic cells, positive for both periodic acid Schiff and Alcian blue reactions. These cells can be distinguished as seromucous and mucous types based on the different electron density of their granules. α-Amylase, until now detected only in mammalian salivary glands, was not found in any of the salivary glands examined. The ultrastructural study revealed that the salivary glandular cells of T. mauritanica lack intercellular canaliculi, which by contrast, are present between the seromucous cells in the salivary glands of C. viridiflavus and P. s. sicula. Comparable variation is also seen when the ultrastructural features of the secretory granules in salivary glands of the three Squamata species are compared. The salivary granules of T. mauritanica and C. viridiflavus are more or less dense but structureless, while the mucous granules of P. s. sicula have a distinctive and characteristic substructure. Therefore, this study, designed to obtain comparative data on the histology, histochemistry and ultrastructure of the salivary glands of three representative, but hitherto unstudied, species of Squamata, reveals great variation in the structure of these glands within the Squamata lineage, even when compared to previously documented species.

Keywords: Squamata; reptiles; salivary glands; ultrastructure

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1463-6395.2002.00107.x

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento Scienze della Vita, Seconda Università di Napoli, Via Vivaldi, 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy; 2: Dipartimento Medicina Sperimentale, Seconda Università di Napoli, Via Costantinopoli, 16, 80138 Napoli, Italy

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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