Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Cilia on bovine mammary epithelium: ultrastructural observations

  • 34 Accesses

  • 10 Citations


Ultrastructural examination of bovine mammary tissues revealed the presence of 9 + 0 or primary cilia protruding from surfaces of alveolar epithelial and myoepithelial cells. Cilia of epithelial cells protruded approximately 1200 nm into lumina of alveoli and arose from a basal body centriole, the associated centriole of the diplosome, and an accessory rootlet system. Cilia on epithelial cells were more frequently observed than cilia on myoepithelial cells. Occasional cilia made contact with macrophages in the alveolar lumen. The structures were more commonly found in tissues from nonlactating cows, and most were observed in the ventral portion of the mammary gland.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Barber VC (1974) Cilia in sense organs. In: Sleigh MA (ed) Cilia and flagella. Academic Press, London New York, pp 403–433

  2. Collins RA, Parsons KR, Bland AP (1986) Antibody-containing cells and specialised epithelial cells in the bovine teat. Res Vet Sci 41:50–55

  3. Cross BA (1954) Milk ejection resulting from mechanical stimulation of mammary myoepithelium in the rabbit. Nature, London 173:450–451

  4. Currie AR, Wheatley DN (1966) Cilia of distinctive structure (9 + 0) in endocrine and other tissues. Postgrad Med J 42:403–408

  5. Linzell JL (1955) Some observations on the contractile tissue of the mammary glands. J Physiol (London) 130:257–267

  6. Nickerson SC, Pankey JW (1983) Cytologic observations of the bovine teat end. Am J Vet Res 44:1433–1441

  7. Nickerson SC, Pankey JW, Boddie NT (1984) Distribution, location, and ultrastructure of plasma cells in the uninfected, lactating bovine mammary gland. J Dairy Res 51:209–217

  8. Radnor CJP (1972) Myoepithelial cell differentiation in rat mammary glands. J Anat 111:381–398

  9. Stirling JW, Chandler JA (1976) Ultrastructural studies of the female breast. Anat Rec 186:413–416

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Stephen C. Nickerson.

Additional information

Approved for publication by the Director, Louisiana Agricultural Expt. Station as manuscript number 88-80-2185

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nickerson, S.C. Cilia on bovine mammary epithelium: ultrastructural observations. Cell Tissue Res. 255, 675–677 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00218809

Download citation

Key words

  • Alveoli
  • Cilia
  • Epithelium
  • Mammary
  • Myoepithelium
  • Bovine