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The fine structure and possible functions of scolex gland cells inTrilocularia acanthiaevulgaris (Cestoda, tetraphyllidea)

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The ultrastructure of the scolex glands ofTrilocularia acanthiaevulgaris is described with the aid of transmission electron microscopy. The syncytial scolex gland cells exhibit an ultrastructure which is typical of secretory cells, in that they contain extensive and distended cisternae of granular endoplasmic reticulum (GER), numerous Golgi complexes and secretory vesicles. The vesicles are transported via microtubule-lined ducts to the apex of the scolex where they are released from the tegumental surface by an eccrine process. The secretion is often accumulated in reservoirs created by a lateral swelling of the ducts. Cytochemical studies show that the secretion has a glycoprotein nature. It is suggested that the secretion probably acts as an adhesive, aiding attachment of the worm to the host mucosa. This may be more important in juvenile worms which have less well-developed scoleces.

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Correspondence to I. Fairweather.

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McCullough, J.S., Fairweather, I. The fine structure and possible functions of scolex gland cells inTrilocularia acanthiaevulgaris (Cestoda, tetraphyllidea). Parasitol Res 75, 575–582 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00931169

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  • Electron Microscopy
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Fine Structure
  • Secretory Cell