Histomorphometric adaptation of yak (Bos grunniens) abomasum to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau environment.

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Jinbao Wang; Rui Zhang; Lu Zhang; Changjiang Wang; Baoping Shao & Jianlin Wang


Six abomasums of yaks (Bos grunniens) were studied with gross dissection and histological methods. It was found that the mucosa of the yak abomasum was covered with simple columnar epithelium. There were lots of spiral folds (≥10) in the fundic glandular area. The developed membrane of lamina propria was occupied by high density glands. According to the morphological characteristics of the glands, the abomasum was divided into the cardiac, gastric and pyloric glands. Cardiac glands were curved tubular glands with the intumescent bottom and small glandular cavity. Fundic glands were simple tubular glands or branched tubular glands, where the chief, parietal and mucous neck cells can be observed clearly. Pyloric glands were curled tubular glands, the closer to the deep of the lamina propria, the more obvious the glands curl. Staining of glycoconjugate revealed that the mucosal epithelium of the cardiac gastric and pyloric glands and gastric pits epithelium mainly secreted neutral glycoconjugate, but other portions of cardiac and gastric glands secreted mixed and acid glycoconjugate respectively. By Gordon-Sweet's reticular fiber staining, it was found that the mucous neck cells possessed the characteristic of argyrophilic phenomenon. There was a large number of argyrophilic granules in the supranuclear cytoplasm in contrast with the chief cells. Furthermore, there were isolated lymphoid nodules and diffuse lymphoid tissue in the abomasum glands, especially in corpus abomasi. Grimelius silver staining showed that the argyrophil cells were located in the glandular epithelium and lamina propria of glands, which can also be observed in connective tissue. These endocrine cells dispersed individually in epithelial cells, occasionally in 3–5 cell groups. Therefore, the yaks were grazed throughout the year on diverse natural grassland and had evolved morphological characteristics of the abomasum enabling them to consume a wide variety of plant species, thereby better adapting them to harsh plateau environment.

KEY WORDS: Yak; Abomasum; Histomorphometric adaptation; Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

How to cite this article

WANG, J.; ZHANG, R.; ZHANG, L.; WANG, C.; SHAO, B. & WANG, J. Histomorphometric adaptation of yak (Bos grunniens) abomasum to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau environment. Int. J. Morphol., 33(2):764-776, 2015.