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Metamorphic changes in the vagal innervation to the alimentary tract in the green frog, Rana clamitans (Ranidae)

Metamorphic changes in the vagal innervation to the alimentary tract in the green frog, Rana clamitans (Ranidae)

Acta Anatomica 145(4): 340-344

The alimentary tract of typical anurans shortens extensively at metamorphosis, when the microphagous tadpole transforms into a macrophagous frog. We used methylene blue vital stain and Sihler stain, in conjunction with microdissection, to map the distribution of the gastric branch of the vagus nerve in green frogs (Rana clamitans) before and after metamorphosis. After metamorphosis, terminal divisions of the gastric branch can be observed on the tunica musculosa extending as far as the pylorus. In the tadpole, the gastric branch ends abruptly on the esophagus. The premetamorphic pattern of innervation is consistent with the absence of digestive activity in the foregut before metamorphosis. Preliminary experiments, involving stimulation of the gastric branch of the vagus in the tadpoles, confirm the anatomical observation of the absence of vagal innervation before metamorphosis.

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Accession: 009015148

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PMID: 10457773

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