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Ultrastructure of the Gravid Uterus of Hymenolepis diminuta (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda)

David Bruce Conn
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 79, No. 4 (Aug., 1993), pp. 583-590
DOI: 10.2307/3283386
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3283386
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ultrastructure of the Gravid Uterus of Hymenolepis diminuta (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda)
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Abstract

The fine structure of the uterus in gravid proglottids of Hymenolepis diminuta was examined by standard techniques for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The uterus consisted of a syncytial uterine epithelium attached to the medullary parenchyma through a thin extracellular basal matrix. The epithelium contained prominent nuclei in the juxtalumenal cytoplasm. The cytoplasm was dominated by extensive granular endoplasmic reticulum, with dilated cisternae containing an electron-lucent material and widely scattered electron-dense spherical bodies. No Golgi body or other agranular endomembrane component was observed, but the epithelium contained numerous free ribosomes and a few mitochondria. The apical plasma membrane was folded into long microlamellae. Epithelial and epitheliomesenchymal folds and villi resulted in a compartmentalized uterine lumen, with each chamber containing 1 to several eggs. These data suggest a high level of synthetic activity within the uterine epithelium, but the chemical products and functional significance of this activity are not yet known.

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