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Revista chilena de anatomía

versión impresa ISSN 0716-9868

Rev. chil. anat. v.15 n.2 Temuco  1997

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-98681997000200007 

MORPHOLOGICAL AND HISTOCHEMICAL ASPECTS OF THE LUMINAL
OVIDUCTAL EPITHELIUM OF THE LAYING AND NONLAYING MUSCOVY
DUCK (Cairina moschata, LINNEAUS, 1758)

ASPECTOS MORFOLOGICOS E HISTOQUIMICOS DEL EPITELIO LUMINAL
DEL OVIDUCTO DE LA PATA SILVESTRE (Cairina moschata, LINNAEUS, 1785)
DURANTE LOS PERIODOS DE POSTURA Y NO POSTURA

 

*
**
***
***
Joaquim EvêncioNeto
Liriane Baratella Evêncio
Walter Kenji Fukumoto
Manuel de Jesus Simões

* Department of Morphology and Physiology Animal Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
** Department of Morphology of the Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Paraná, Brazil
*** Department of Morphology of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brazil

SUMMARY: The authors have used three laying and three non-laying muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata, Linneaus, 1758), in order to study morphological and histochemical aspects of the luminal oviductal epithelium.

The results showed that the oviduct of the muscovy duck is well-developed at the left side, atrophied at the right side and consists of six different regions: fimbria, infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, shell-gland and vagina. The oviduct is more evident and developed in the laying phase of the reproductive period. The lining epithelium is of single cylindric ciliated type, with the exception of the region of the vagina, where it is of pseudo-stratified cylindric ciliated type. In all portions of the oviduct it was observed that the epithelium presents ciliated and non-ciliated cells. It was verified a predominance of non-ciliated cells in the laying period and of ciliated cells in the nonlaying period, with the exception of the regions of the fimbriae and shell-gland, where an equilibrium of these two cell-types is observed.

With regard to the detection of mucous substances, it was noted that the surface oviductal epithelium showed positive reactivity to PAS in the infundibulum, magnum and isthmus, and to A.B. pH 2.5 and 0.5 in the infundibulum, magnum, isthmus (with the exception of the laying period) and vagina. It was not observed the presence of mucous cells in the fimbriae and shell-gland in both phases of the reproductive period.

KEY WORDS: 1. Oviduct; 2. Anatomy; 3. Histology; 4. Cairina moschata,

INTRODUCTION

The morphology of the oviduct has been studied in domestic birds (ROBINSON et al., 1968; LAUWERS et al., 1970; WYBURN et al., 1970, 1973; MURTON & WESTWOOD, 1977; EVÊNCIONETO et al., 1994). However such study is scarcer in wild birds, and it was done on parrot (CHAKRAVORTI & SADHU,1961); canary-bird

(HUTCHISON et al., 1968); pied flycatcher, (SILVERIN, 1980); and pied myna (GUPTA & MAITI, 1987). With regard to the anatidae, some morphological features were studied in Anas bascos (DAS & BISWAL, 1968); Anas platyrhynchus (SHARMA & DUDA, 1989; WU & MA, 1986).

As observed, no work concerning morphology and histochemistry of the muscovy duck's oviduct (Cairina moschata) was found. Facing these data and the analysis of the literature, we committed ourselves to studying the morphological and histochemical aspects (carbohydrate component) of the luminal epithelium of the muscovy duck's oviduct , during laying and non-laying period.

MATERIAL AND METHOD

Six adult muscovy ducks weighing approximately 2 000 g were used. After the behavioural identification of laying and nonlaying periods, three animals of each period were sacrificed by beheading. As we opened the abdominal cavity, different parts of the female reproductive system: fimbriae, infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, shell gland and vagina were identified.

Fragments from several previously identified portions of the oviduct were collected, fixed in Bouin solution and included in paraffin, according to habitual methods. Section of 6 µm were obtained. Some of the laminas were stained by haematoxylin and eosin (H.E) and the others were submitted to the following histochemical methods: PAS (McMANUS, 1946); PAS after treatment by salivary amylase (LISON, 1960); PAS with blockade by acetylation and postsaponification (McMANUS and CASON, 1950); indicative staining by alcian blue (A.B.) in pH 2.5 (SPICER, 1960) before and after methylation (FISCHER and LILLIE, 1954) and saponification (LILLIE and FULLMER, 1976); control by acid hydrolysis (SPICER and LILLIE, 1959) and staining by Alcian blue in pH 0.5 (LEV and SPICER, 1964).

RESULTS

Macroscopically, it is possible to identify in the oviduct of a muscovy duck the following portions: fimbriae, infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, shell gland and vagina, which are more developed and more easily observed during the laying period.

In the laying period, the oviductal mucosa presents very evident longitudinal folds, being short in the fimbriae and tall in other regions, is lined by well developed single cylindric ciliated epithelium. The epithelium is comprised of ciliated (which predominates in the fimbriae) and non ciliated cells that present voluminous and euchromatic nucleus. In the ciliated cells, we observe well developed cilia and in the non ciliated ones, a rather basophil cytoplasm. The folds are ramified in the infundibulum, large and occupy virtually the lumen of the organ in the magnum, longitudinal and thin in the shell gland, whereas in the vagina, they are wide. This last region is lined by a well-developed pseudo-stratified cylindric ciliated epithelium with intense leukocyte infiltrate in the lamina propria.

In the non laying period, though it is possible to identify the regions, the oviduct is quite atrophied. In all portions studied, the mucosa presents little developed longitudinal folds lined by single cylindric ciliated epithelium. In this period, there is predominance of ciliated cells. In must be mentioned that the lamina propria is little evident. The little developed vagina is lined by pseudostratified cylindric ciliated epithelium.

The histochemical results are listed on Table I.

Table I- Results of histochemical reactions for detection of mucous substances in different portions of the oviduct of the Muscovy duck, in laying (L)and nonlaying period (NL).

 
Portions od the oviduct of the muscovy duck in laying and non-laying period
Histochemical                    
Reaction
Fimbriade
Infundibulum
Magnum
Isthmus
Shell gland
Vagina
 
L=NL
L
NL
L
NL
L
NL
L=NL
L
NL

PAS

-

+++

+

++++

+

+++

++

-

-

-

Amylase + PAS

-

+++

+

++++

+

+++

++

-

-

-

Acetylation + PAS

-

-

-

 

-

 

-

-

-

-

Acetylation + Saponification + PAS

-

+++

+

++++

+

+++

++

-

-

-

A.B. pH = 2.5

-

+++

±

+++

+++

-

+++

-

++++

++

A.B. pH = 0.5

-

+++

±

+++

+++

-

+++

-

+++

++

Acetylation + A.B. pH =2.5

-

++

±

++

++

-

++

-

+++

+

Methylation + A.B. pH =2.5

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Methylation + Saponification                    

+ A.B.pH=2.5

-

+++

±

+++

++

-

++

-

++

+

Hidrolysis of Spicer + A.B.pH=2.5
-
+++
±
+++
++
-
++
-
++
+
Legends: (+ a ++++) = degree of intensity of reactions; (-) = absence of reaction; (±) = traces of reaction
L = laying; NL = non-laying





Fig.1 Photomicrographies of various portions of muscovy duck's oviduct. 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 represent, respectively, infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, shellgland and vagina in laying period. 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 represent, respectively, infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, shellgland and vagina in nonlaying period. Note the well developed lining epithelium in all regions studied in laying period. H.E. ±150X.

DISCUSSION

The results showed that the oviduct of the muscovy duck (Cairina moschata), similar to what happens with other birds, is comprised of infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, shell gland and vagina. It must be mentioned that the increase which occurs in the laying period would probably be on the dependence of seric levels of estrogen and progesteron (PAGEAUX et al., 1984 e MANNA et al., 1984). These data strengthen the findings of SHARMA & DUDA (1989) that reported great increase of the oviduct in the laying period, while they were studying the mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchus). They observed that the region of the magnum increased up to 280%.

Analyzing and comparing the results of the light microscopy, we can notice that in the laying period the mucosa folds and the lining epithelium are much more developed, with a certain predominance of non-ciliated cells. In the non-laying period, there is a great predominance of ciliated cells, except in the region of the fimbrae where we observed equilibrium between the two cellular types.

Those data are supported by the findings of GÜRTLER et al. (1987) who believe that the increase of the oviduct in the laying period would be related to the function of adding components to the egg/ovocyte during its passage through the oviduct. We also believe that the great quantity of nonciliated cells would be related to the production of mucous substances. These mucous substances would be incorporated in the white of the egg and shell membranes cephalad, and they would facilitate the sliding of the egg/ovocyte to the external medium caudad.

In the region of the fimbriae, we notice overt predominance of ciliated cells in the laying period, and we believe it is related directly to the capture of the ovocyte released by the ovary, in the same way that it occurs in primates in which the cilia play an important role in the capture and transport of ovocytes or spermatozoons to the fertilization site (VERHAGE et al., 1979). The ovocyte may be fertilized or not, but the function of the oviduct is adding the white of the egg, forming the membranes and moving the ovocyte/egg toward vagina.

The region of the vagina is involved in the final expulsion of the egg/ovocyte, and owing to the fact of being in continuity with cloaca, it must constitute a strong protection barrier against penetration of foreign bodies. In order to accomplish this protection, the vagina presents an elastic and resistent wall, and a good defense system.

Our study showed that in this region the epithelium is of pseudostratified cylindric ciliated type, being rich in mucous cells during laying period. It must be mentioned that we didn't find any quotation about the occurrence of this type of epithelium in other bird's oviduct.

In the non-laying period, the increase of ciliated cells in vagina would be linked to the function of protection, being necessary for the formation of a ciliated barrier against microorganisms coming from the cloaca. According to BRILLARD (1990), the bird's vagina would be related to the storage of sperm and besides, it participates in the transport of ovocyte/egg, adding nothing to the elements that move in its interior.

Analyzing our histochemical results, we notice that muscovy duck's oviduct is lined by mucous cells, except in fimbriae and shell gland. The ultrastructural analysis in both fimbriae and shell gland, revealed the existence of non ciliated cells containing small electrotranslucent granules in the apical region, that were not reactive to either PAS or A.B. pH 2.5 and 0.5 in light microscopy. Such data indicates that these granules do not present mucous substances. These findings are according to the ones obtained by EVENCIO NETO et al. in free life chicken's oviduct. It must be mentioned that ROBINSON et al. refers that in hen the shell gland presents neutral and acid glycoconjugates. However, DAVIDSON (1973) cites that, in the shell gland region of hen's oviduct, there are a few cells containing glycoconjugates .

When we compared other portions (infundibulum, magnum, isthmus and vagina), we noticed that the mucous cells of the infundibulum, magnum, isthmus possess higher concentrations of neutral mucous substances in the laying than in the non laying period. Conversely, neutral mucous substances were not evidenced in the region of the vagina. The analysis of our histochemical results for A.B. pH 2.5 and 0.5 suggests that there are carboxylated and sulphated mucous substances in the superficial epithelium of infundibulum, magnum, isthmus and vagina and that this reactivity depends on the period in which the oviduct is. In the laying period, we notice intense reactivity to A.B. pH 2.5 and 0.5 in the infundibulum, magnum and vagina, being negative in the isthmus. Nevertheless, in the nonlaying period, this reactivity was less intensive in these regions, but reactive in the region of the isthmus.

It must be mentioned that, in general, the oviduct during laying period presents higher concentration of mucous substances than in the non laying period. Our histochemical results also indicates, that infundibulum, magnum, isthmus and vagina must possess sulphated mucin, since these regions were reactive to A.B. pH0.5 and to pH 2.5 after acetylation. However, the vagina must contain sialomucin, provided that the intensity of reaction to A.B. pH 2.5 was not completely recovered after acid hidrolysis. These data corroborate the findings of the literature. According to them, there would be carboxylated mucin and sulphated mucin in the greatest part of the oviduct (ROBINSON et al., 1968; WYRBUN et al., 1970, 1973; DAVIDSON, 1973) and besides there would be mucin containg sialic acid in the vagina.

According to DORFMAN (1958), HARDINGHAM & FOSANG (1992), the glycosaminoglycans play an important role in the mechanism of water and extracellular fluid eletrolytes control and in the antiinfectious activity. Due to the presence of mucus in the oviduct, we suppose that it possibly creates conditions for fertilization at infundibulum, and that it is involved in the addition of albumina, formation of the shell and sliding of ovocyte/egg. Moreover, we believe that the mucus present in vagina and other regions of muscovy duck is not only related to the sliding of ovocyte/egg, but it is also related to the protection and even prevention of bacterial proliferation, because this region opens directly into cloaca. It must be mentioned that in the saliva the sialic acid is the responsible for the antibacterial effect against certain species of streptococcus (LEVINE et al., 1978).

It must be mentioned that SILVA et al. (1992), showed a correlation between the ultrastructural electrodensity of mucocyte granules on female rabbit's oviduct and the histochemical reactivity to the glycoconjugates, thus it is our intention to study the muscovy duck's oviduct ultrasctructurally.

RESUMEN: Fueron estudiadas la morfología y la histoquímica del epitelio luminal del oviducto de la pata silvestre (Cairina moschata, Linnaeus, 1785)durante los períodos de postura y no postura. Se utilizaron 6 ejemplares, 3 en postura y 3 en no-postura.

Los resultados mostraron que el oviducto está desarrollado en el lado izquierdo y atrofiado en el lado derecho y que está constituido por seis regiones: fimbrias, infundíbulo, magno, itsmo, glándula de la cáscara y vagina. El oviducto es más evidente y desarrollado en la fase de postura. El epitelio de revestimiento es simple cilíndrico ciliado, excepto en la región de la vagina donde se presentó pseudoestratificado cilíndrico ciliado. En todas las porciones del oviducto se observaron células ciliadas y no ciliadas. En la fase de postura predominaban las células no ciliadas y en la fase de no postura, las ciliadas. En la región de las fimbrias y en la glándula de la cáscara se observa equilibrio entre los dos tipos celulares.

Por histoquímica se comprobó que el epitelio superficial muestra reactividad positiva al PAS en infundíbulo, magno e itsmo (excepto en la fase de postura) y vagina. En fimbrias y cáscara no fueron observadas células mucosasen ninguna de las dos fases.

KEY WORDS: 1. Oviducto; 2. Anatomía; 3. Histología; 4. Cairina moschata.

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Dirección para correspondencia:
Prof. Dr. Joaquim EvêncioNeto
Universidade Federal de São Paulo
Disciplina de Histologia
Rua Botucatu, 740
CEP 04023900
São Paulo, SP
BRASIL

Recibido : 15-10-1997
Aceptado : 17-11-1997

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