Vascular organization of the catfish gill filament

E. J. Boland, K. R. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Light and scanning electron microscopic observations were made on methyl-methacrylate corrosion casts of the blood vessels in the gills of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). The vasculature of the gill filament can be divided into three distinct pathways: 1. the well-known respiratory circulation which includes the afferent filamental artery (AF), afferent lamellar arteriole (AL), lamella (L), efferent lamellar arteriole (EL) and efferent filamental artery (EF), 2. a nutritive pathway from the EF through small nutritive capillaries (NC) and into one of several filamental veins (FV), and 3. an interlamellar circulation in which small prelamellar arterio-venous anastomoses (PAVA) connect the AL into a series of organized vascular spaces (interlamellar vessels, ILV's) that underlie the interlamellar filamental epithelium. Several sinuslike spaces associated with AF, EF and the filamental cartilagenous support were also observed. The physiological significance of these vascular pathways is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-500
Number of pages14
JournalCell And Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1979


  • Blood vessels
  • Gills
  • Ictalurus punctatus
  • Osmoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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