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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 21(1):1983 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1983 Jun;21(1):75-82. English.
Published online Mar 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1983.21.1.75
Copyright © 1983 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
Studies on the bladder worm, Cysticercus cellulosae: The ultrastructure of C. cellulosae
Soon-Hyung Lee
Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea.

An electron microscopic study was performed to know the basic tegumental structure of Cysticercus cellulosae. The scolex and bladder portions of cysticerci (human and porcine strains) were prepared for transmission and scanning electron microscopy by conventional procedures.

In general, the tegument of C. cellulosae showed the basic ultrastructure of cestode tegument on electron micrographs. The teguments of both scolex and bladder portions consisted of such components i.e., an outer vesicular layer with numerous microtriches and inner fibrous layer. Below the fibrous layer, there were layers of muscle bundles and tegumental cells.

The microtriches which covered the surface of cysticercus revealed two distinctly different shapes. The characteristic bladder-like, elongated pyramid shaped 'tetrahedral form' was observed on the surface of the scolex portion, whereas the elongated cylindrical 'filamentous form' was distributed on the surface of bladder portion.

In spite of the difference of isolated host and location, the cysticerci showed the same result. But dimensional variations of the tegument according to topography of the worm were observed. The possibility of application in making differential diagnosis from other larval cestodes and possible functions of this larval tegument were discussed.


Figs. 1-4
Fig. 1. An electron micrograph of cysticerous tegument (porcine strain) showing microtriches (m), vesicular layer (V), fibrous layer (F) and muscle layer (M). ×2,000.

Fig. 2. The microtriches (m) on the surface of scolex portion. Longitudinal section shows a characteristic elongated tetrahedral feature. ×8,000. The porcine strain.

Fig. 3. Detail of the characteristic microtriches (m) on the scolex of Cysticercus (human strain). Note the insertion of proximal part or base (b) into the vesicular layer of the tegument, and rigid, electrondense distal part or shaft (s). The proximal part also shows peripheral dense region (arrows) and inner lucid medullary region. ×20,000.

Fig. 4. Transverse sections through bases (b) and shafts(s) of microtriches on the scolex. note the characteristic triangular cut-surfaces which suggest their tetrahedral stereoscopic structures. Numerous vesicles & vacuoles, electron dense granules and mitochondria are also visible in vesicular layer(V). ×10,000.

Figs. 5-8
Fig. 5. Low power view of bladder portion of human strain showing straight filamentous microtriches(m). ×2,000.

Fig. 6. Cross section of filamentous microtriches of the bladder portion through bases (b) and shafts(s). Note circular cut-surfaces which support their cylindrical stereoscopic structure. ×8,000.

Fig. 7. Higher magnification of filamentous microtriches on the surface of bladder portion (porcine strain). Note the elongated filamentous shafts(s) and relatively short proximal bases (b). ×20,000.

Fig. 8. A scanning electron-micrograph of microtriches on the surface of bladder portion (porcine strain). Note the bundles of filamentous microtriches (m) which suggest their agitative function in the microhabitat to maintain a free flow of nutrients. ×20,000.

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