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The fine structure of the type 2 cells in the Malpighian tubules of the stick insect,Carausius morosus

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Type 2 cells, or mucocytes, are present in both inferior and superior Malpighian tubules ofCarausius morosus and are concentrated towards the distal ends of the main urine-secreting parts. They are absent from the proximal few millimetres of the main part and from the distal specialised regions of the tubules. They possess numerous Golgi bodies and abundant granular E. R., which is consistent with the hypothesis that they secrete mucus. However, they possess basal infoldings and apical microvilli suggesting that they may transport substances across the tubule wall. It is suggested that they perform both functions. Reabsorption of ions or water could precipitate solid components of the urine (e.g., uric acid). Mucus may be important in nucleation of crystalline material and also prevent abrasion of the brush border.

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This investigation formed part of a thesis for the degree of Ph.D. in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. It is a pleasure to thank Professor J. Shaw for his advice and encouragement and the Science Research Council for financial support.

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Taylor, H.H. The fine structure of the type 2 cells in the Malpighian tubules of the stick insect,Carausius morosus . Z.Zellforsch 122, 411–424 (1971).

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  • Excretory organs
  • Insect
  • Carausius
  • Malpighian tubules
  • Type 2 cell