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Ultrastructural changes in skeletal muscle of the tail of the lizard Hemidactylus mabouia immediately following autotomy

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Abstract

Araújo, T.H., Faria, F.P., Katchburian, E. and Freymüller, E. (2009). Ultrastructural changes in skeletal muscle of the tail of the lizard Hemidactylus mabouia immediately following autotomy. —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 91: 440–446.

Although autotomy and subsequent regeneration of lizard tails has been extensively studied, there is little information available on ultrastructural changes that occur to the muscle fibers at the site of severance. Thus, in the present study, we examine the ultrastructure of the musculature of the remaining tail stump of the lizard Hemidactylus mabouia immediately after autotomy. Our results show that exposed portions of the skeletal muscle fibers of the stump that are unprotected by connective tissue bulge to produce large mushroom-like protrusions. These exposed portions show abnormal structure but suffer no leakage of cytoplasmic contents. Many small and large vesicular structures appeared between myofibrils in the interface at this disarranged region (distal) and the other portion of the fibers that remain unchanged (proximal). These vesicles coalesce, creating a gap that leads to the release of the mushroom-like protrusion. So, our results showed that after the macroscopic act of autotomy the muscular fibers release part of the sarcoplasm as if a second and microscopic set of autotomic events takes place immediately following the macroscopic act of autotomy. Presumably these changes pave the way for the formation of a blastema and the beginning of regeneration.
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Keywords: autotomy; lizard tail; skeletal muscle; ultrastructure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Alfenas, Alfenas, Brazil 2: Electron Microscopy Center, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 3: Department of Morphology, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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