The vertebrate spleen is typically a well-defined organ or reddish/brown colour situated in the dorsal mesentery and having a discrete vascular and nervous supply (Romer 1962). In cyclostomes and dipnoans, however, the splenic tissue lies embedded in the gut wall (Parker 1892, Romer 1962). The spleen has several known functions, which may vary in importance among the groups and species of the vertebrates. The functions include formation of lymphocytes in the “white pulp” (Malphigian bodies), erythropoiesis (notably in elasmobranchs; Fänge and Sundell 1969), erythrocyte degradation, phagocytosis and storage and release of erythrocytes. The most important role of the autonomic innervation of the spleen involves the control of erythrocyte release.
KeywordsNoradrenaline Choline Catecholamine Porphyrine Acetylcholine
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