S.N. Kalinina, S.Yu. Chazhengina, V.A. Ilyukha, S.A. Svetov, E.A. Khizhkin.
Morphology and mineral composition of pineal gland concretions in Vulpes lagopus L., 1758 (Mammalia: Carnivora)
Keywords: calcified concretions; calcite; hydroxylapatite; pineal gland; Vulpes lagopus L.
Mammalian pineal gland is known to often contain the calcified concretions (brain sand, corpora arenacea, acervuli, concrements), which biological significance, mineral and chemical composition are not full studied. Previous studies reported about chemistry, shape, size and structure of these biominerals from human and rodent pineal gland. The present study addresses to the morphology, mineral and chemical composition of calcified concretions in pineal gland of blue fox Vulpes lagopus L. (Mammalia: Carnivora). We used routine histological methods as well as scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive detector and Raman spectroscopy. Results suggest that the process of mineralization of pineal gland most likely is not age-associated. Our data concerning the location and mineral composition of calcium concretions in blue fox pineal gland are in agreement with those obtained by other researchers on rodent and human pineal glands. Calcified concretions were located in capsule, protruding septae and parenchyma of pineal gland. Two morphological types of concrements were distinguished including mulberry-like and irregular elongated structures. The acervuli of mulberry-like structure were presented by hydroxylapatite and calcite, and the irregular elongated aggregates were composed of only hydroxylapatite. The last one has not been previously recorded in the calcified concretions of the mammals. Present findings give the first insight into the morphology, mineral and chemical composition of calcium concrements in pineal gland of blue fox.
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