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1 March 2010 Features of the Ocular Harderian Gland in Three Balaenopterid Species Based on Anatomical, Histological and Histochemical Observations
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Abstract

The ocular Harderian gland (HG) in three Balaenopterid species (common minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, sei whale B. borealis and Bryde's whale B. edeni) was investigated at macroscopic and microscopic levels. The gland encircled the eyeball similar to a belt form on mainly the corneal side, and was more developed in the rostral and ventral aspects of the eyeball. The multiple secretory ducts of the gland opened into conjunctival fornix and palpebral conjunctiva. The gland also possessed a prominent duct system composed of tubuli which were divided into lobes. Histochemically, the secretory cells of the gland were characterized by the presence of both acid and neutral glycosaminoglycans for Alcian blue (pH 2.5), periodic acid-Schiff, and the absence of lipids for Sudan black B. These characteristics indicated that there are differences from those of HG in some terrestrial mammals, and suggested it may be one of the adaptations for protecting eyes from sea water in aquatic environments.

© the Mammalogical Society of Japan
Noriko Funasaka, Motoi Yoshioka, and Yoshihiro Fujise "Features of the Ocular Harderian Gland in Three Balaenopterid Species Based on Anatomical, Histological and Histochemical Observations," Mammal Study 35(1), 9-15, (1 March 2010). https://doi.org/10.3106/041.035.0108
Received: 25 February 2009; Accepted: 24 June 2009; Published: 1 March 2010
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