Histological changes in the epidermis of the subdigital lamellae of Anolis carolinensis during the shedding cycle

Authors

  • Harvey B. Lillywhite,

    1. Department of Life Sciences, University of California, Riverside, and Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Zoology, University of California, Los Angeles
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  • P. F. A. Maderson

    1. Department of Life Sciences, University of California, Riverside, and Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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    • Biology Department, Brooklyn College, New York, N. Y. 11210.


Abstract

The characteristic anoline climbing organ consists of a number of lamellar scales, on whose outer scale surface are numerous keratinized setae which contact the substrate. These setae are derived from the Oberhautchen of the epidermal generation, and as such are renewed and shed periodically along with the rest of the epidermal material. The histological development of the setae is described, and modifications of the surrounding elements are noted. The relative lengths of the setae and their congregation to form a pad unit poses certain mechanical problems during morphogenesis, simply in terms of accommodation between the functional outer epidermal generation and dermal core of each lamella. Regression of the dermal core and a distal migration of some cells permits accommodation within the lamella for the distal aspect of the Oberhautchen layer, or free margin. Additionally, changes in the gross shape of the lamella occur throughout the sloughing cycle, and a swelling of the cells of the lacunar tissue results in a gap between the stratum corneum of inner and outer epidermal generations. There is a considerable amount of variation in mitotic activity between the germinal layers of opposite sides of the lamella.

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