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Uropod and lateral plate glands of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber Latr An ultrastructural study



Uropod and lateral plate glands of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber Latr An ultrastructural study



Journal of Morphology 233(2): 183-194



Lateral plate and uropod glands are composed of a binucleated gland cell, a ramified intermediate cell, and an elongated duct cell. The gland cell is divided into several lobes and forms numerous short processes in its periphery. The cytoplasm contains many secretory granules. The granules release their content into the intercellular collecting ducts between the gland cell and the branched extensions of the intermediate cell. The collecting ducts merge into a funnel-shaped space surrounded by the intermediate cell. The duct cell is lined by a cuticular intima and contains long striated bundles of fibrils. The duct cell consists of two different regions. The proximal region is characterized by microvilli on the luminal side and contains many organelles. In the distal region microvilli are lacking and organelles are scarce. Structurally, the uropod and lateral plate glands differ in the number of components within the granules. This is in accordance with the differences in the characteristics of the secretory products of the two gland types. The morphology of the glands, particularly the peripheral position of the collecting system, is unique among exocrine glands of arthropods.

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