The postbranchial digestive tract of the ascidian, Polyandrocarpa misakiensis (Tunicata: Ascidiacea). 1. Oesophagus

Zoological Science
Hiromichi Koyama


The organization of the oesophagus in the budding styelid ascidian, Polyandrocarpa misakiensis, is described. The oesophagus consists of external and internal epithelium, and there are loose connective tissue, blood sinuses, and a muscular layer between them. The internal epithelium is simple columnar, except for the bottom of three folds. The external epithelium is simple squamous. The internal epithelium contains four cell types, i.e., ciliated mucous cells, band cells, endocrine cells, and undifferentiated cells. The ciliated mucous cells have apical cilia and microvilli, and two types of mucous vesicle. The band cells also have apical cilia and electron-dense granules in the apical cytoplasm. The endocrine cells are bottle-shaped, and have electron-dense granules both above and below the nucleus. The undifferentiated cells form pseudostratified epithelium at the bottom of each fold, and they have nuclei with prominent nucleoli. One type of coelomic cell, which has retractile cytoplasm, often migrates in the internal epithelium. Near the stomach, there are many darkly stained round cells clustered around the posterior end of the oesophagus. These two types of coelomic cells may be involved in the defense mechanism against th...Continue Reading


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May 3, 2019·Cell and Tissue Research·Satoshi NakayamaMichio Ogasawara

Methods Mentioned

light microscopy

Related Concepts

Cell Nucleolus
Cell Nucleus
Endocrine Cells
Folded Structure

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