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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


GALINDEZ, Elena Juana; ESTECONDO, Silvia  and  CASANAVE, Emma B.. The Spleen of a Specialy Adapted Mammal: The Little Hairy Armadillo Chaetophractus vellerosus, (Xenarthra, Dasypodidae). A Light and Electron Microscopic Study . Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2006, vol.24, n.3, pp.339-348. ISSN 0717-9502.

The spleen is a multifunctional organ. Its microarchitecture reflects so well the phylogeny as the adaptation to niche in each animal group and inclusive in each species. Armadillos, as ancient and isolated mammals, show a mixture of ancestral and modern structures. In this work the microanatomy and cytology of the spleen of the little hairy armadillo Chaetophractus vellerosus was studied. The material was fixed and processed according to the typical methods for light and electron microscopy. Results show a cumulative medium sized spleen with the typical pulps. The white pulp is well developed but less defined than in other armadillos. The presence of follicular-dendritic-like cells and interdigitant dendritic-like cells, as well as clusters of immunocompetent cells agrees with an active immunological activity. The red pulp is a meshwork of circulatory spaces and cells. The presence of splenic sinusoids is recognized for the first time in the genus. Hemopoietic tissue is less developed than in other Euphractini. The microarchitecture and size of the spleen of C. vellerosus is discussed in a phylogenetic and adaptive context

Keywords : Xenarthra; Dasypodidae; Spleen; Chaetophractus vellerosus.

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