Article

Structure and function of vulture pecten.

Cells Tissues Organs (Impact Factor: 2.14). 01/1974; 89:473-480.

ABSTRACT

Earlier name of journal was then 'Acta Anatomica'

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Available from: Rakesh Yashroy
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    ABSTRACT: The pecten oculi of the barred owl (Strix varia) has been examined by light and transmission electron microscopy. The pecten in this species is of the pleated type and is small in comparison to the size of the ocular globe. The pecten consists of 8-10 accordion-like folds that are linked apically by a pigmented tissue bridge. Each fold contains numerous capillaries, larger supply and drainage vessels, and abundant pleomorphic melanocytes. Most of these capillaries are extremely specialized vessels that possess plentiful microfolds on both the luminal and abluminal surfaces. Some capillaries however display only a few microfolds. The endothelial cell bodies are extremely attenuated, with most organelles located near the nucleus. All capillaries are surrounded by a very thick fibrillar basal lamina, which is thought to provide structural support to these small vessels. Pericytes are commonly found within these thickened basal laminae. Numerous melanocytes are also present, with processes that form an incomplete sheath around the capillaries. These processes are also presumed to provide structural support for the capillaries. As in other avian species, the morphology of the barred owl pecten is indicative of extensive involvement in substance transport. When compared to the pecten of more visually-oriented species, this pecten is smaller, has fewer folds, and displays a reduced number of microfolds within the capillaries. In these and other features, the barred owl pecten is similar to the pecten of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).
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