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Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2014 May;297(5):939-48. doi: 10.1002/ar.22871. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Morphological analysis of lymph nodes in Odontocetes from north and northeast coast of Brazil.

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Department of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Sao Paulo (FMVZ/USP), Av. Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva, 87, Cidade Universitária, 05508-270, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Center for the Study of Anthropogenic Effects on Marine Resources, Aquatic Mammals Foundation (NEARM/FMA), Av. Tancredo Neves, 5655, Jabotiana, 49095-000, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil.


The morphology and location of lymph nodes from seven species of Odontocetes, of both sexes and different age groups, were described. All animals were derived from stranding events along the North and Northeastern coasts of Brazil. After the identification of lymph nodes in situ, tissue samples were analyzed for light and electron microscopy. Vascular volume density (VVD) and vascular length density (VLD) were evaluated in the mesenteric lymph nodes. Lymph nodes occurred as solitary nodules or in groups, varying in shape and size. In addition to using the nomenclature recommended by Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria, new nomenclatures were suggested based on the lymph nodes topography. Lymph nodes were covered by a highly vascularized and innervated capsule of dense connective tissue, below which muscle fibers were observed, inconsistently, in all studied species. There was no difference in VLD among different age groups. However, VVD was higher in adults. Lymph nodes parenchyma was divided into an outer cortex, containing lymph nodules and germinal centers; a paracortical region, transition zone with dense lymphoid tissue; and an inner medulla, composed of small irregular cords of lymphatic tissue, blood vessels, and diffuse lymphoid tissue. Abundant collagen fibers were observed around arteries and arterioles. Germinal centers were more evident and developed in calves and young animals, being more discrete and sparse in adults. The morphology of lymph nodes in Odontocetes was typical of that observed in other terrestrial mammals. However, new groups of lymph nodes were described for seven species occurring in the Brazilian coast.


Cetacea; anatomy; immune system; lymphoid system; microscopy

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