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Ultrastructural changes of the anterior and posterior sternal integument of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber Latr during the moult cycle



Ultrastructural changes of the anterior and posterior sternal integument of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber Latr during the moult cycle



Tissue & Cell 29(1): 63-76



The ultrastructure of the anterior (ASE) and posterior sternal epithelium (PSE) was investigated during the biphasic moult cycle. During early premoult the sternal epithelial cells increase in size, accumulate huge amounts of glycogen, and increase the abundance of cellular organelles. CaCO-3 deposit formation begins before the secretion of the epicuticle in the anterior sternal integument and continues through the secretion of the first exocuticular layers. The deposition of cuticle is delayed in the ASE until the CaCO-3 deposit is fully resorbed between the anterior and posterior moult. The development of the interstitial network (IN), which enormously increases the basolateral compartment of the plasma membrane, starts at the beginning of the exocuticle deposition. During CaCO-3 deposit formation and resorption the volume fraction of the mitochondria is much larger in the ASE than in the PSE, although the cuticle is secreted faster in the posterior integument. The results suggest that the exocuticular and epicuticular layers are permeable to calcium and probably also carbonate ions; that the IN is required during late premoult, when CaCO-3 deposition is accelerated, but not during early CaCO-3 deposition; and that active mechanisms contribute to transepithelial ion transport during CaCO-3 deposit formation and resorption.

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Ultrastructural changes of the anterior and posterior sternal integument of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber Latr. (Crustacea) during the moult cycle. Tissue and Cell 29(1): 63-76, 1997

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