Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Online ISSN : 1347-7439
Print ISSN : 0916-7250
ISSN-L : 0916-7250

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Comparative anatomy of the hepatobiliary systems in quail and pigeon, with a perspective for the gallbladder-loss
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 20-0669


Although the gallbladder is one of the characteristic component of the vertebrate body, it has been independently lost in several lineages of mammals and birds. Gallbladder loss is a widely reported phenomenon; however, there have been few descriptive comparisons of entire hepatobiliary structures between birds with and without a gallbladder. Here, we discuss the evolution of avian hepatobiliary morphology by describing the gross anatomy of the hepatobiliary system in the quail and pigeon. Quails have two major extrahepatic bile ducts: the right cystic-enteric duct, which has a gallbladder, and the left hepatic-enteric duct, which does not. Together with two pancreatic ducts, they share one opening to the ascending part of duodenum. Pigeons lack a gallbladder, but also have two extrahepatic ducts similar to those of quails. However, the hepatic-enteric duct opens solely to the descending part of the duodenum close to the stomach. The pancreatic duct opens to the very posterior part of the duodenum independent from the biliary tracts, giving rise to three separate openings in the duodenum. The hepatobiliary anatomy of the pigeon represents a highly derived condition not only because of gallbladder loss. Avian gallbladder loss may be related to remodeling of the entire hepatobiliary system, and may have occurred via a different mechanism from that of mammals, which can be explained simply by the disappearance of the gallbladder primordium.

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