Organization of a phyllobranchiate gill from the green shore crab Carcinus maenas (Crustacea, Decapoda)
The phyllobranchiate gills of the green shore crab Carcinus maenas have been examined histologically and ultrastructurally. Each gill lamella is bounded by a chitinous cuticle. The apical surface of the branchial epithelium contacts this cuticle, and a basal lamina segregates the epithelium from an intralamellar hemocoel. In animals acclimated to normal sea water, five epithelial cell types can be identified in the lamellae of the posterior gills: chief cells, striated cells, pillar cells, nephrocytes, and glycocytes. Chief cells are the predominant cells in the branchial epithelium. They are squamous or low cuboidal and likely play a role in respiration. Striated cells, which are probably involved in ionoregulation, are also squamous or low cuboidal. Basal folds of the striated ceils contain mitochondria and interdigitate with the bodies and processes of adjacent ceils, Pillar cells span the hemocoel to link the proximal and distal sides of a lamella. Nephrocytes are large, spherical cells with voluminous vacuoles. They are rimmed by foot processes or pedicels and frequently associate with the pillar cells. Glycocytes are pleomorphic cells packed with glycogen granules and multigranular rosettes. The glycocytes often mingle with the nephrocytes. Inclusion of the nephrocytes and glycocytes as members of the branchial epithelium is justified by their participation in intercellular junctions and their position internal to the epithelial basal lamina.
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Saul H, Goodman and Michael J. Cavey "Organization of a phyllobranchiate gill from the green shore crab Carcinus maenas (Crustacea, Decapoda)" Cell Tissue Res (1990) 260:495-505