Structure of the kidney in the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae with reference to osmoregulation
The morphology of the nephrons of the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae was investigated by light microscopy. Each nephron is composed of a large renal corpuscle with well-vascularized glomerulus, non-ciliated neck segment, proximal convoluted tubule divided into distinct first and second segments, non-ciliated intermediate segment, distal tubule, collecting tubule and collecting duct. The parietal layer of the Bowman's capsule of the renal corpuscle is composed of low cuboidal cells. The short non-ciliated neck segment is lined by cuboidal epithelium. The first and second proximal segments display a prominent brush border and contain amorphous material in their lumen. The second proximal segment differs from the first segment in having taller columnar epithelium and a relatively narrow lumen. The intermediate segment is lined by non-ciliated columnar epithelium and its lumen appears empty. The distal tubule is narrow in diameter and its cuboidal epithelium is devoid of intercalated cells. A unique feature of L. chalumnae is having binucleate cells in the tubule and collecting duct epithelium. The renal arteries have poorly developed tunica media and its cells contain granular material. The structure of L. chalumnae nephrons correlates well with their osmoregulatory function and resembles those of euryhaline teleosts.
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