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Adaptation of Camelus dromedarius pars nervosa of the hypophysis to winter and summer living conditions

Author(s): Fatma Zohra Djazouli Alim | Manuel Jose Rodríguez | Carmen Andrade | Nemcha Lebaili | Nicole Mahy

Journal: Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica
ISSN 0239-8508

Volume: 50;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 203;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: dromedary | neural lobe | ultrastructure | winter | summer

The aim of this work is to study the characteristics of the dromedary nervous lobe and determine how the seasons condition its organization. To this end, electron microscopy was performed and examined quantitatively on animals from winter and summer periods. The results show a higher number of cells in the nervous lobe in summer than in winter. The most abundant glial elements in winter are light pituicytes engulfing neurosecretory nerve fibers making neuroglial contact, and dark pituicytes containing numerous heterogeneous light bodies. In summer, the most distinctive glial cells may be pituicytes in a phagocytic state making contact with characteristic large light bodies that could represent a degenerative process of large neuropeptide storage. Granular pituicytes were also observed in contact with glial and neuronal components. However, lipid droplets, described in pituicytes of other mammals, were not observed in our samples. Quantitative analysis of neurovascular contacts revealed that the number of nerve terminals contacting the basal lamina did not differ between summerand winter, but the mean number of glial processes increased in winter. Our data provides evidence that the storage of neuropeptides is very marked in summer and that, associated with an autophagic and phagocytic phenomenon, this suggests an adaptation to anticipate any situation that would cause dehydration of the dromedary. Thus, in its tough environment, the animal remains permanently prepared to avoid any large water loss.
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