Fine structure of the ordinary lateral line organ. II. The lateral line canal organ of spotted shark, Mustelus manazo

Cell Tissue Res. 1977 Jan 5;176(1):23-36. doi: 10.1007/BF00220341.


The lateral line organ of the spotted shark is characterized by its semi-cylindrical shape. Each organ (neuromast) is so closely apposed to the next that the individual neuromasts are almost continuous. The neuromast is composed of receptor cells, supporting cells and mantle cells. The receptor cells bear one kinocilium and up to 40 stereocilia. Bi-directional arrangement of the receptor cells as occurs in teleosts was demonstrated. Afferent and efferent nerve endings were found at the base of the receptor cells. The supporting cells extend from the basal lamina to the free surface. Long microvilli and a cilium-like "ciliary rod" project from the top of each supporting cell. The cell contains relatively few elements of the Golgi apparatus and little rough endoplasmic reticulum, but mitochondria and filaments are abundant. The mantle cell limits the lateral margin of the neuromast. It is distinguished from the supporting cell because of its long crescent-shaped nucleus and scarce, short microvilli. Myelinated nerve fibres are found in the subepithelial connective tissue but not in the epithelium. The fine structure of the shark lateral line organ suggests that this organ is in an intermediated step of evolution between that of lamphrey and teleost.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cilia / ultrastructure
  • Fishes / anatomy & histology
  • Lampreys / anatomy & histology
  • Mechanoreceptors / ultrastructure*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Sharks / anatomy & histology*
  • Water Movements