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Revista Brasileira de Biologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7108


FERNANDES, M. N.  and  PERNA-MARTINS, S. A.. Epithelial gill cells in the armored catfish, Hypostomus cf. plecostomus (Loricariidae). Rev. Bras. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.1, pp.69-78. ISSN 0034-7108.

Epithelial gill cell morphology and distribution were investigated in the armored catfish, Hypostomus cf. plecostomus, which lives in soft ion-poor Brazilian freshwaters. Pavement cells are the most abundant type of cell on both filament and lamellar epithelia and there are a great number of mucous and chloride cells between them. Mucous cells are almost covered by adjacent pavement cells and have large packed granules showing electrondense differences. No mucous cells were found on the lamellar epithelium. Chloride cell were distributed throughout both epithelia and usually have large apical surface facing the external medium and may exhibit short and sparsely distributed microvilli. The presence of chloride cells on the lamellar epithelium may be an adaptation to low ion concentrations in the water, allowing for improved ion-transport capacity of the gill. The large size of these cells increases the water-blood barrier and may affect the transference of respiratory gases. However, the negative effect on the respiratory process may be minimized by this species' ability to resort to atmospheric air to fulfill its oxygen requirements.

Keywords : gills; epithelium; teleost; loricariid; Hypostomus cf. plecostomus.

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