A light and electron microscopical study of the pyloric caeca of Asterias rubens Echinodermata Asteroidea

van der Plas, AJ.; Jangoux, M.; Voogt, PA.

Netherlands Journal of Zoology 342: 144-158


Accession: 037603284

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The microscopic structure of the pyloric ceca of the starfish A. rubens is described. The wall of the pyloric ceca is made up of 3 layers: a coelomic and a digestive epithelium separated from each other by a connective tissue layer with muscle and nerve fibers adjacent to the epithelia. The digestive epithelium is composed of various types of cell: storage cells, special-current producers, mucocytes, zymogen cells and coelomocyte-like cells. The possible role that coelomocyte-like cells and cells protruding into the lumen play with regard to the changes in size of the pyloric ceca during the reproductive cycle is discussed. The amount of lipid droplets in the storage cells and the activity of the granular endoplasmic reticulum of these cells vary during the annual reproductive cycle and both reach a maximum during the intensive growth of the gonads.