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Ultrastructural characterization of the epithelium that constitutes the cardiac gland epithelial `honeycomb' in the stomach of the babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa)

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The cardiac gland region in the stomachs of eleven babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) from zoological collections was studied by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. An array of tightly-packed, thin-walled tubes, closely resembling a `honeycomb' covered this region. The tubes were between twelve and sixteen cells (200 and 260 mu m) in height and usually two cells (8-20 mu m) in thickness. Mucus granules present in the cytoplasm of cells in the lower half of the tube were largely absent from the ad-luminal half of the tube. Instead, open goblet-like structures lined the tube, apparently giving additional strength. Bacteria were present in the lumen of each thin-walled tube and in the underlying gland pit. The evidence suggests that this large area of the babirusa stomach may be structured to form a stable, self-refreshing environment to house and multiply autochthonous commensal bacteria.
Tijdschrift: Comptes Rendus Biologies
ISSN: 1631-0691
Issue: 1
Volume: 331
Pagina's: 32-41
Aantal pagina's: 10
Jaar van publicatie:2008
Trefwoorden:ultrastructure, digestion, swine, bacteria, Multidisciplinaire biologie, Multidisciplinaire wetenschappen