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Am J Anat. 1990 Dec;189(4):329-38.

Toward the origin of the secondary palate. A possible homologue in the embryo of fish, Onchorhynchus kisutch, with description of changes in the basement membrane area.

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Department of Oral Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The oral cavity of embryos and larvae of the teleost Onchorhynchus kisutch was examined. Tissues were obtained at different ages prior to and after hatching and processed for transmission and scanning electron microscopy. A bilaterally symmetrical bulge developed from the superolateral aspect of the oral cavity and projected toward its floor, along the sides of the tongue. The bulge extended from behind the primary palate to a position midway below the eye, anterior to the gill arches, and it is suggested to be the homologue of the secondary palate of higher vertebrates. Ultrastructurally, the epithelium differentiated as the stratified squamous type and it contained mucous cells. However, the features of programmed cell death seen during palatogenesis in mammals were absent in fish. The fish palate mesenchyme, unlike that of higher vertebrates, was chondrified. Also in contrast to higher vertebrates, alterations were seen in the fish palatal basement membrane. A transient appearance of adepidermal granules in the lamina lucida region was followed by organization of collagen fibrils, first into an orthogonal pattern and then into a herring-bone arrangement, in the lamina reticularis region. There was no further advancement in the morphogenesis of fish palate. It is suggested that the differences in the morphogenesis and structure of the secondary palates of various vertebrates may reflect environmentally enforced adaptation, resulting in different programming of cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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