Morphology of the Harderian gland of the Gecko, Tarentola mauritanica

Baccari, G.C.; Chieffi, G.; Di Matteo, L.; Dafnis, D.; De Rienzo, G.; Minucci, S.

Journal of Morphology 244(2): 137-142


ISSN/ISBN: 0362-2525
PMID: 10761051
DOI: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4687(200005)244:2<137::aid-jmor4>;2-o
Accession: 011017793

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The Harderian gland of the gecko, Tarentola mauritanica, was studied at the histological, histochemical, and ultrastructural levels. It is a nonlobate compound acinar gland surrounded by a thin capsule of connective tissue. Numerous connective tissue-type mast cells, ultrastructurally similar to those described in other higher vertebrates, were identified in the interstitial tissue between the acini. Pyramidal or columnar-shaped secretory glandular cells were observed in the acini. In the glandular cells, two types of structures could be distinguished on the basis of their high or low electron density. Lipid droplets were found in the cytoplasm of the Harderian gland of both sexes. Histochemical tests showed that the Harderian gland of the gecko is a seromucous gland. The secretion is essentially merocrine, although an apocrine type of secretion is sometimes observed.