Microsc Res Tech 2019 Aug 19;82(8):1267-1276. Epub 2019 Apr 19.
Department of Animal Science, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod, Kerala, India.
Amphibian skin secretions contain a variety of bioactive compounds that are involved in diverse roles such as communication, homeostasis, defence against predators, pathogens, and so on. Especially, the caecilian amphibians possess numerous cutaneous glands that produce the secretory material, which facilitate survival in their harsh subterranean environment. Inspite of the fact that India has a fairly abundant distribution of caecilian amphibians, there has hardly been any study on their skin and its secretion. Herein, we describe, using light microscopy and electron microscopy, two types of dermal glands, mucous and granular, in Gegeneophis ramaswamii. The mucous glands are filled with mucous materials. The mucous-producing cells are located near the periphery. The granular glands are surrounded by myoepithelial cells. A large number of granules of different sizes are present in the lumen of the granular gland. The granule-producing cells are present near the myoepithelial lining of the gland. There are small flat disk-like dermal scales in pockets in the transverse ridges of the posterior region of the body. Each pocket contains 1-4 scales of various sizes. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) study of the skin surface showed numerous funnel-shaped glandular openings. The antibacterial activity of the skin secretions was revealed in the test against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Aeromonas hydrophila, all gram-negative bacteria. SEM analyses confirm the membrane damage in bacterial cells on exposure to skin secretions of G. ramaswamii.
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