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Histological description of the ink gland of the tropical sea hare Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828

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Bezerra, L. E. A., Silva, J. R. F., Carvalho, A. F. U. and Melo, V. M. M. 2006. Histological description of the ink gland of the tropical sea hare Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828. —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 87: 203 –207.

This work describes for the first time the ink gland of Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828 using light microscopy and histochemical tests. The results reveal that this organ is covered by a layer of simple epithelium and that there are some differences between the epithelium facing the mantle shelf and that facing the mantle cavity. The former consists of columnar cells, which may have a secretory function, whereas the latter is a cuboidal epithelium. Underneath the epithelium and along the whole gland there are fibres of smooth muscle and collagen, organized in groups of parallel bundles. There are vesicles of different diameters, apparently with similar morphology. Some are filled with ink, whereas others are either granular or clear. The ink is released through a duct formed by invaginations of the cuboidal epithelium. Tests with bromophenol blue and periodic acid Schiff indicated that the ink and granulated vesicles contain proteins and carbohydrates or maybe glycoproteins. Between the fibre bundles and the vesicles there are dispersed cells. A diagram is presented emphasizing the covering epithelium, the distribution of muscle and collagen fibres, the dispersed cells, vesicles and ducts. This organization is similar to that of the other Aplysia species studied to date, A. californica.

Keywords: Aplysia dactylomela; histochemical tests; histological description; ink gland; light microscope

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2006

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