Histological Description of the Skin Glands of Phyllobates bicolor (Anura: Dendrobatidae) Using Three Staining Techniques

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Freddy Moreno-Gómez; Tania Duque; Leonardo Fierro; Juan Arango; Xiomara Peckham & Helberg Asencio-Santofimio


The mechanisms to obtain and store skin toxins in frogs in of the family Dendrobatidae are not completely understood. In order to contribute to understand how toxins are stored, we provide a histological description of the cutaneous glands of the species Phyllobates bicolor. The skin of two adult frogs was examined through three histological staining techniques (hematoxilin-eosin, PAS and Masson Trichrome) using conventional optic microscopy. The skin of Phyllobates bicolor contains two types of exocrine glands: mucous and serous, which empty their products to the epidermal surface through an intra-epithelial duct that leads to a stoma. The mucous and serous glands and the intercalated ducts are surrounded by a discontinuous sheath of myoepithelial cells, which colapse the lumen of the acinus and the lumen of ducts and facilitate the secretion and release of their content. The serous glands have a polarized syncytium of tall cuboidal or columnar epithelial cells. Both glands have a mixed secretion, thus, the contents of mucous glands tend to be neutral and basophilic, while the contents of the serous glands are basophilic and acidophilic.

KEY WORDS: Amphibians; Phyllobates bicolor; Integument; Epidermis; Dermis; Mucous glands; Serous glands; Chemical defenses; Bioaccumulation.

How to cite this article

MORENO-GÓMEZ, F.; DUQUE, T.; FIERRO, L.; ARANGO, J.; PECKHAM, X. & ASENCIO-SANTOFIMIO, H. Histological description of the skin glands of Phyllobates bicolor (Anura: Dendrobatidae) using three staining techniques. Int. J. Morphol., 32(3):882- 888, 2014.