Collagen and Mineralization in the Elasmoid Scales
The thin elasmoid scales of many “advanced” Osteichthyans are composed of different layers distinguishable by their histological and histochemical characteristics (Neave, 1936, 1940; Wallin, 1956). Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that the collagen is the main organic component of two layers: the external layer and the fibrillary plate. One of the characteristics of this collagenous constituent consists in an obvious variability not only from one layer to another but inside the same layer itself. As far as the different organizations of collagen are important in determining the different patterns of mineral deposits (Maekawa and Watabe, 1970; Schönbörner et al., 1979; Olson and Watabe, 1980; Zylberberg and Nicolas, 1982), the elasmoid scale present the advantage of having concomitantly different organizations of their collagen fibrils and therefore different mineralization processes. In this investigation, the aim of which is to compare the structural relationships between the collagen fibrils and the crystal deposit in the different layers of elasmoid scales, histological histochemical and ultrastructural techniques were applied to several species of Osteichthyans.
KeywordsCollagen Fibril Mineral Deposit External Layer Fish Scale Electron Dense Granule
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