Histology and scanning electron microscopy of the lower respiratory tract in the adult red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

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Eid A. Moussa & Said A. Hassan


The study was conducted on a total of three adult healthy freshly killed red foxes of both sexes weighing about 4- 6 kg collected from Abou Rawwash, Giza, Egypt. The wall of trachea and bronchi formed of mucosa, submucosa and adventitia. The mucosa formed of pseudostratified columnar epithelium and lamina propria. The respiratory epithelium composed of tall columnar ciliated, goblet cells, basal cells, and neuroendocrine cells. Goblet cells account for about 20 to 30% of cells in the more proximal. Basal cells are relatively small triangular cells whose bases are attached to the basement membrane. The primary bronchiole is lined by simple columnar nonciliated to cuboidal epithelium containing some bronchiolar exocrine cells and some goblet cells. Neuroendocrine cells constitute about 4 to 5% of bronchial epithelial cells, attached at their bases to the basement membrane and have tapering apices. The lamina propria consists principally of a network of capillaries, a meshwork of connective tissue fibers continuous with the basement membrane. The submucosa formed of connective tissue elements and blood vessels and devoid of Tracheobronchial glands in red fox. The adventitia contain tracheal cartilage and muscle in trachea and bronchial cartilages and muscles in bronchi. Tracheal muscle is transverse bundles attached to the outer perichondrium. In the bronchi, muscle is organized in transverse bundles close to the epithelium adjacent to the lamina propria and longitudinal bundles close to the cartilages. Alveoli are demarcated by septa composed of a continuous layer of epithelial cells overlying a thin interstitium. The epithelial cells consist principally of type I and type II pneumocytes. SEM revealed that, the mucosal surface of both trachea and bronchi was completely covered by cilia. There were few glandular openings or goblet cell.

KEY WORDS: Scanning; Fox; Respiratory; Histology.

How to cite this article

MOUSSA, E. A. & HASSAN, S. A. Histology and scanning electron microscopy of the lower respiratory tract in the adult red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Int. J. Morphol., 33(1):267-274, 2015.