The study of microanatomy of intestinal epithelium in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis)

Document Type : Short paper


1 Laboratory of Animal Cell Biology and Embriology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

2 Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China

3 Department of Morphology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413, Canary Islands, Spain


The microanatomy of the intestinal epithelium in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (CST) was studied by light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The small intestinal epithelium (SIE) was single layered or pseudostratified. The enterocytes contained mitochondria or mitochondria and lipid droplets. The enterocytes were arranged tightly in the apical parts of epithelium and connected by desmosomes and interdigitations. The large intestinal epithelium (LIE) was pseudostratified and the enterocytes did not contain lipid droplets. Enterocytes were arranged compactly in the apical part, forming spaces in the middle and basal parts of epithelium. Numerous mucous cells were scattered in the epithelium and there were intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) with their pseudopodia extended into the intestinal lumen. This study provides detailed features of intestinal epithelium in the Pelodiscus sinensis that could be related to function. In addition, these findings are discussed in relation to other vertebrates.


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