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Volume 68, Issue 3


Comparative histological, histochemical and ultrastructural studies of the nephron of selected snakes from the Egyptian area

Ahmed Allam
  • College of Science, Zoology Department, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia
  • Faculty of Science, Zoology Department, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, 65211, Egypt
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/ Rasha Abo-Eleneen
Published Online: 2013-04-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-013-0181-7


The present study was aimed to compare and contrast the histochemical, histological and ultrastructural variations (microanatomical differences) in the nephrons of selected snake species, Eryx jaculus (Boidae), Psammophis sibilans (Colubridae), Naja haje (Elapidae) and Echis pyramidum (Viperidae) from Egypt. The structural studies were carried out by conventional light and electron microscopy. The nephron, the renal unit of snakes, consists of renal corpuscle, proximal tubule, intermediate segment, distal tubule and collecting tubule. The renal corpuscles have large capillaries with clear and dark fenestrated endothelial cells. The proximal tubule showed long microvilli, cytoplasmic vacuoles, developed endoplasmic reticulum and abundant mitochondria. The intermediate segment was lined by ciliated cells. The lining cells of the distal tubules showed few microvilli, abundant dense mitochondria and clear vesicles of mucous appeared in the terminal portion. The collecting tubules consisted of mucous cells. In summary, the ultra-structure studies of nephrons revealed several interspecies similarities and also some intra-species differences in species of snakes.

Keywords: Eryx jaculus; Psammophis sibilans; Naja haje; Echis pyramidum; kidney

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-04-13

Published in Print: 2013-06-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 68, Issue 3, Pages 546–558, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-013-0181-7.

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