Ultrastructure of possible sites of ultrafiltration in some gastropoda, with particular reference to the auricle of the freshwater prosobranch Viviparus viviparus L.

  • H. H. Boer
  • Noor H. Algera
  • A. W. Lommerse


In the Gastropoda pressure-ultrafiltration of the blood is assumed to be the first step in urine formation. The most probable site of ultrafiltration is the wall of the heart. Since in other animal groups ultrafilters are characterized by a special cell type, the podocyte, the hearts of two pulmonates (Lymnaea stagnalis, Biomphalaria glabrata) and of four prosobranchs (Viviparus viviparus, Bithynia tentaculata, Ampullaria gigas, Littorina littorea) were ultrastructurally investigated, in order to establish whether or not podocytes occur in these structures. It appeared that only in the wall of the auricle of Viviparus podocytes are present. They form a layer underneath the epicardium, the epithelium covering the auricle. It is assumed that in Viviparus ultrafiltration proceeds in the auricle. The possible route of the pro-urine is discussed. The location of the ultrafilters in the other species studied remains still unknown.

Key words

Sites of ultrafiltration Gastropoda Podocytes Electron microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. H. Boer
    • 1
  • Noor H. Algera
    • 1
  • A. W. Lommerse
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological LaboratoryFree UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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