Are Glands Present in Goose Pancreatic Ducts

Nurhayat Gulmez
Division of Histology and Embryology, Veterinary Faculty, Kafkas University. Kars, Turkey
ABSTRACT
Objective The objective of the present study
was to investigate the histological structure of
goose pancreatic ducts.
Design Tissue samples from the lobes and
ducts of the pancreas were dissected under
deep ether anesthesia.
Interventions Sections were stained using
Crossmon’s connective tissue method for
general observations and Gomori’s method
for pancreatic islet cells.
Results The glands were found intermittently
inside the connective tissue of the ducts
starting from the interlobular ducts to the
point where the pancreas emptied its contents
into the duodenum as well as inside the
muscular layer of the pancreatic ducts. Those
glands contained centro-acinar cells and also
had the same staining features as the acinus.
Conclusions To our knowledge, this was the
first report of the presence of glands in the
ducts of goose pancreas.
INTRODUCTION
The avian pancreas is located on the right side
of the abdominal cavity in all birds. It is
tightly bound by mesentery and blood vessels
positioned between the descending and the
ascending duodenal loops [1]. It is composed
of two main lobes, dorsal and ventral, which
extend from the apex of the duodenal loop to
the point where the pancreatic ducts enter the
distal duodenum. Another smaller lobe,
extending from the head of the pancreas
towards the spleen has been termed as the
splenic lobe [2]. A further subdivision of the
lobes of the pancreas has been made by
Mikami and Ono [3] who divide the ventral
lobe into the ventral lobe proper and the third
lobe on the basis of the latter’s independent
form and peculiar distribution of islets. Both
dorsal and ventral lobes have ducts extending
almost the full length of their course and there
is also a third, smaller duct leading from the
third lobe. Pancreatic ducts from the acinus to
the point where it empties its contents into the
duodenum are arranged in following order:
intercalated ducts (the smallest in size),
intralobular ducts, interlobular ducts and
pancreatic ducts (main ducts) [4, 5]. The
objective of the present study was to
investigate the histological structure of goose
pancreatic ducts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Five adult geese (Anser anser) obtained from
the Kafkas University Veterinary Faculty
Farm were used in the current study. Tissue
samples from the lobes and ducts of the
pancreas were dissected under deep ether
anesthesia. Samples were fixed in Bouin’s
fluid and then routinely processed for
embedding in paraffin. Tissue blocks were cut
into 6-micrometer thick sections using a
microtome. The sections were stained using
Crossmon’s connective tissue method for

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JOP. Journal of the Pancreas – http://www.joplink.net – Vol. 4, No. 3 – May 2003
126
general observations and Gomori’s method
for pancreatic islet cells.
ETHICS
Tissues were harvested in compliance with an
approved Kafkas University Animal Care and
Use Committee Protocol.
RESULTS
In the present study, the goose pancreas was
found to be located between the duodenal
loops and had dorsal, ventral, third and
splenic lobes. All the pancreatic lobes had
their own intercalated ducts, intralobular
ducts (Figure 1) and interlobular ducts (Figure
2). In addition, there were only two main
ducts (dorsal and ventral pancreatic ducts)
extending from the pancreas (Figure 3) to the
point where it emptied its contents into the
duodenum.
Intercalated ducts lined with a simple
flattened epithelium reach intralobular ducts
lined with tall columnar epithelium.
Intralobular and interlobular ducts are
composed of two main tissues, a columnar
epithelium which lines up inside the ducts and
connective tissue surrounding outside the
ducts. Furthermore, interlobular ducts have
thin muscle layers surrounding the connective
tissue. However, the main ducts of the
pancreas are composed of three layers: first,
the mucosa lined with columnar epithelial
tissue, then inside longitudinally and outside
circularly arranged muscle tissue and, finally,
externally adventitial connective tissue.
Furthermore, basophilic staining on the apical
surface of the goose pancreatic ducts starting
from the interlobular ducts (Figure 2) to the
pancreatic ducts (Figures 3 and 4) indicates
possible secreting functions of those tissues.
Interestingly, the glands were found
intermittently inside the connective tissue of
the ducts starting from the interlobular ducts
(Figure 2) to the point where the pancreas
emptied its contents into the duodenum
Figure 1. Intralobular duct (D). Centro-acinar cells
(arrows). Crossmon’s staining method (Bar: 50 µm).
Figure 2. Glands (G) in the interlobular duct and
basophil staining on the apical surface of the ductus
epithelium (arrows), indicating secretory functions of
these cells. Gomori’s staining method (Bar: 100 µm).
Figure 3. Glands (G) inside the connective and
muscular tissues of the pancreatic duct and their own
interlobular ducts (arrow heads). Gomori’s staining
method (Bar: 200 µm).

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JOP. Journal of the Pancreas – http://www.joplink.net – Vol. 4, No. 3 – May 2003
127
(Figure 5) as well as inside the muscular layer
of the pancreatic ducts (Figure 3). Those
glands contained centro-acinar cells (Figure
6) and also had the same staining features as
the acinus. Moreover, those glands had their
own intercalated ducts (Figure 4), intralobular
ducts (Figure 5) and interlobular ducts (Figure
3). It appeared that the glands inside the wall
of the ducts were structurally similar to the
exocrine part of the goose pancreas.
Furthermore, no endocrine island was noticed
among those glands.
DISCUSSION
We found that the goose pancreas, as in other
avian species [2], was located between the
duodenal loops and had dorsal, ventral, third
and splenic lobes. Mikami and Ono [3]
demonstrated that the dorsal, ventral and third
lobes had their own ducts, whereas Mc Leod
et al. [6] showed that the third lobe
occasionally consisted of its own duct.
Additionally, it was shown that there were
usually two pancreatic ducts (main ducts) in
the goose pancreas, even though the presence
of a third one was reported [7].
We also demonstrated that, in the goose
pancreas, there were only two main ducts
extending from the pancreas to the duodenum.
This finding is in agreement with the results
of Mc Leod et al. [6], and Nickel-Schummer
and Seiferle [7].
The structure of the goose exocrine glands
found in the present study agrees with the
results of previous studies [3, 4, 8, 9, 10]. In
fact, as in other vertebrates, the avian
pancreas was mainly composed of exocrine
glands (about 99%), [3, 8]. Those glands
consisted of tall columnar epithelial tissues
which had acidophilic zymogen granules on
their apical surface [4, 9, 10]. Moreover,
small centro-acinar cells without granules
were observed in the central lumen of the
acinus [10].
The structure of the ducts in the goose
pancreas was found to be similar to that
described in previous studies [4, 11]. In
addition, the presence of basophilic staining
on the apical surface of the goose pancreatic
Figure 4. Intercalated duct (arrow) inside the glands of
the pancreatic duct. Gomori’s staining method (Bar: 50
µm).
Figure 5. Glands and their own intralobular duct
(arrow head) inside the wall of the pancreatic duct
where it opens into the duodenum,. Arrows indicate
intestinal glands (Liberkuhn). Crossmon’s staining
method (Bar: 100 µm).
Figure 6. Centro-acinar cells (arrows) inside the glands
of the interlobular duct. Crossmon’s staining method
(Bar: 50 µm).

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JOP. Journal of the Pancreas – http://www.joplink.net – Vol. 4, No. 3 – May 2003
128
ducts starting from the interlobular ducts to
the pancreatic ducts was also found in
chickens [12].
To our knowledge, this was the first report of
the presence of glands in the ducts of the
goose pancreas. Thus, it would be of interest
to study in more detail the structure of those
glands using either electron microscopic or
immunohistochemical techniques to clarify
their possible functions.
Received January 24th, 2003 - Accepted April
10th, 2003
Keywords Anatomy; Animal; Animal
Structures; Endocrine Glands; Geese;
Histology; Histology, Comparative; Islets of
Langerhans;
Microscopy;
Pancreas;
Pancreatic Ducts
Correspondence
Nurhayat Gulmez
Kafkas Üniversitesi
Veteriner Fakültesi
Histoloji-Embriyoloji Anabilim Dalı
Kars, 36100
Turkey
Phone: +90-474-242.6800 Ext: 1121
Fax: +90-474-242.6853
E-mail address: ngulmez@hotmail.com
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