Quantitative studies on the skin of the paired species of lampreys, Lampetra fluviatilis (L.) and Lampetra planeri (BLOCH)
Lethbridge, R.C.; Potter, I.C.
Journal of Morphology 164(1): 39-46
ISSN/ISBN: 1097-4687 PMID: 30180396 DOI: 10.1002/jmor.1051640104
The number of mucous, club, and granular cells in the epidermis, and the number of rows of subcutaneous adipose cells, as well as the thickness of the epidermis and the dermal collagen layer, have been recorded for the larval and metamorphosing stages of the anadromous parasitic lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis, and for the larval, metamorphosing, and adult stages of the nonparasitic lamprey, Lampetra planeri. In L. fluviatilis, the mucous cells predominated in all stages but were more abundant in fully metamorphosed individuals than in larvae. During metamorphosis, the number of granular cells increased continuously, whereas the club cells showed little change. Although lampreys do not feed during metamorphosis, there was an increase in the thickness of the epidermis and in the dermal collagen sheath; the latter increase probably foreshadows the increase in activity by the adults. Simultaneously, there is a reduction in the subcutaneous fat layer, which can be attributed to mobilization of lipid as an energy source. Changes similar to those just described for L. fluviatilis were also found in metamorphosing L. planeri. However, the pattern altered markedly during adult stages in this nonparasitic species. There were marked declines in the number of cells, in the thickness of the epidermis, in the width of the collagen sheath, and in the quantity of subcutaneous fat.