Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The bulbus arteriosus, ‘windkessel’, of several species of stenothermal and temperate teleosts has been studied by conventional light microscopy and electron microscopy. The bulbus wall is divided into an endocardium, ridges, and middle and external layers. The endocardium of all species shows moderately-dense bodies, which vary widely although the significance is not known. The endocardium in Antarctic teleosts invaginates into the ridge tissue to form solid epithelial cords that show signs of active secretion related to protective substances. Cords also form in serranidic and sparidic species, but signs of active secretion are not evident. The ridges consist of cells within a filamentous meshwork. Ridge cells appear to be smooth muscle cells that undergo a phenotypic transition from the endocardium toward the middle layer. Middle layer cells are typical smooth muscle cells surrounded by a filamentous matrix. The appearance and composition of the extracellular matrix varies widely among species, with those from the Antarctic lacking collagen and elastin fibres. The external layer is a collagenous matrix that contains fibroblasts, blood vessels and nerves. In most Antarctic teleost species this layer lacks blood vessels, but contains nerve fibres. Some of these fibres could have a sensory function to control bulbus dilatation. The external layer of Trematomus bernacchii has the appearance of a germinal centre and may be involved in the immune humoral response. The epicardium is atight epithelium that may control passage of substances with the pericardial cavity.
Type of Medium: