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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytophysiological aspects of digestion and storage in the liver of a scorpion, Androctonus australis (Arachnida).

The liver of a scorpion, Androctonus australis (Arachnida), was examined electron-microscopically and cytochemically, emphasizing correlations between structure, cytochemistry and physiology. The liver consists of digestive diverticula and interstitial tissue. Digestive diverticula are composed of basophilic cells and digestive cells. Basophilic cells produce exoenzymes. Digestive cells ensure intracellular digestion of nutrients absorbed by pinocytosis and store glycogen, lipids and mineral salts; the wastes of the digestive process (guanine, uric acid, mineral elements, pigments) are concentrated in "brown body vacuoles" which are ejected into the lumen of the diverticula. The interstitial tissue stores glycogen and lipids; it contains many lysosome-like organelles rich in iron. Fasting induces a decrease of the ratio of the volume of the diverticula to that of the interstitial tissue, a slow disappearance of the reserves in both diverticula and interstitial tissue, an increase of synthesis in the basophilic cells, and a decrease of the number of vacuoles in the digestive cells. The digestive mode of the scorpions associates a primitive intracellular process with an advanced extracellular process. The interstitial tissue can be considered as homologous to the adipose tissue of insects and myriapods, although it is devoid of urate cells. The excretion of guanine and uric acid has a peculiar meaning, because these purine wastes do not come from endogenous catabolism.[1]


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