ABSTRACT: Lobo-da-Cunha, A., Oliveira, E., Alves, Â., Coelho, R. and Calado, G. 2010. Light and electron microscopic study of the anterior oesophagus of Bulla striata (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia). —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 91: 125–138.The anterior oesophagus of Bulla striata was investigated with light and electron microscopy. In the most anterior region, the ridges of the oesophageal wall are covered by a ciliated columnar epithelium forming large apical blebs which are released into the lumen, an activity that is particularly intense in the oesophageal pouch. In the last two-thirds of the anterior oesophagus, the epithelium is covered with microvilli embedded in a cuticle, but apocrine secretion and cilia are absent. Subepithelial secretory cells are very abundant in the oesophageal wall, except in the roof of the pouch. They have a long neck that crosses the epithelium, whereas the cell body containing the nucleus is embedded in the connective tissue. Large electron-lucent secretory vesicles and many Golgi stacks fill most of their cytoplasm. The histochemical and cytochemical assays show that these cells secrete acid mucopolysaccharides. With the current and future studies we aim to obtain data for the establishment of relationships between morphofunctional features of the digestive system and food types in cephalaspideans. Additionally, the new data about the oesophageal pouch of B. striata may be useful for the establishment of eventual homologies with the oesophageal diverticula of other opisthobranchs.
Acta Zoologica 02/2009; 91(2):125 - 138. · 1.13 Impact Factor