Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The conjoined effects of thyroxine and X-rays on the intestinal wall were studied using Alytes obstetricans tadpoles in premetamorphosis. Thyroxine alone induces degeneration of the larval epithelium (primary epithelium) and its replacement by a secondary epithelium. The latter is derived from stem cells via the development of islets. In animals submitted to irradiation only, many of these stem cells showed signs of necrosis. In irradiated larvae treated with thyroxine, the secondary epitheliocytes were rare and never formed islets. Radioautographic observations confirmed their very low proliferation rate. Contrary to what was observed in the hormone treated larvae, cell fragments of the primary epithelium were extruded in the connective tissue, and phagocytes appear to infiltrate the epithelium. In animals treated with thyroxine and later submitted to irradiation, islets of secondary epitheliocytes developed while some cells degenerated. There again, the phagocytes were noted in both the connective tissue and the epithelium.
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