, Volume 113, Issue 3, pp 199–203 | Cite as

Epidermal glands in Squamata: morphology and histochemistry of the pre-cloacal glands in Amphisbaena alba (Amphisbaenia)

  • M. M. Antoniazzi
  • C. Jared
  • C. M. R. Pellegrini
  • N. Macha


Pre-cloacal glands occur in some species of amphisbaenians. Although these glands are important in systematics, their biology and chemistry are little known. The pre-cloacal glands of Amphisbaena alba are of the holocrine type. They are made up of a glandular body and a duct. The glandular body is conical to elongate and is formed of clongatc lobules separated one from another by collagen septa. Each lobule is composed, at its periphery, of germinative cells, and within of polyhedral secretory cells, of different degrees of differentiation. The germinative cells, set on a basal lamina, are basophilic and their cytoplasm is fairly electron dense. The polyhedral cells display bulky cytoplasm, filled with spherical granules, wrapped in membranes and differing in their electron densities. Towards the lumen of the gland, these granules are increasingly eosinophilic and have an affinity for orange G. The secretion is discharged into the duct leading to the pore, which is situated in the central region of the scale. This secretion shows positive histochemical results for mucopolysaccharides and proteins. The similarity between the epidermal glands of lizards and those of A. alba raises the suggestion that the glands have equivalent functions, possibly in the course of intra- or interspecific communication.


Collagen Central Region Developmental Biology Alba Basal Lamina 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Antoniazzi
    • 1
  • C. Jared
    • 1
  • C. M. R. Pellegrini
    • 2
  • N. Macha
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cellular BiologyInstituto ButantanSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Histology, Instituto de Ciências BiomédicasUniversidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil

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