Article

Biology Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 559-567

First online:

Detection of Hepatoid Glands and Distinctive Features of the Hepatoid Acinus

  • S. A. ShabadashAffiliated withSevertsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr. 33
  • , T. I. ZelikinaAffiliated withSevertsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr. 33

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Abstract

In the 1920s–1930s, skin glands of a new type, hepatoid glands, were described in 13 mammal species (Rodentia, Canidae, and Bovidae). The hepatoid glands resemble sebaceous glands in their morphology, bur radically differ from them in specific structure of the acinus and another type of secretion. Later, these data either could not be confirmed or were considered insignificant and the hepatoid glands were described as modified sebaceous glands, glands with uncertain function, or modifications of epidermis. Based on the studies of various hepatoid glands in 22 species of Carniviora and Artiodactyla, the authors described in detail the characteristic features of the hepatoid acinus, which allow a precise discrimination of hepatoid and sebaceous glands. Extracellular secretory canaliculi have been described in the hepatoid glands, as well as the richness of hepatoid glands in protein, distribution of hydrophobic lipids in certain hepatoid glands, and formation of excretory ducts and cysts. The hepatoid glands are a source of great amounts of protein secreted in the merocrine way; the secretory substance of some of these glands has a strong odor.