Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The significance of the ultimobranchial body has been the object of a comparative study of the structure in twenty-four species of urodeles. In nineteen of these it has not hitherto been described.Caudal to the last branchial arch, it develops as a thickening and later as an outpushing from the ventral wall of the pharynx. Due to the growth mechanics of the region, it comes to lie obliquely to the pharynx, ventral to it, and dorsal or dorsolateral to the pericardial cavity in its anterior region. It persists throughout life as an epithelioid or epithelial structure, usually of irregular shape, frequently containing vesicles; in some cases it exhibits a considerable amount of secretory activity of variable quality. Except in Amphiuma and Necturus, where it is regularly paired, and in occasional instances in individuals of other species, where it occurs on both sides, it is usually present on the left side only. Its occurrence is constant in all of the species of urodeles for which it has been examined.It is variable in size, form, and position. This, together with the quite inconstant indication of secretory activity, marks it as a structure of little or no physiological significance. ‘Colloid’ is, however, present in some instances, and hence a comparison with the thyroid was considered.
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