|Ultrastructural shape and three-dimensional organization of the intracuticular canal systems in the mineralized cuticle of the green crab Carcinus maenas|Compère, P.; Goffinet, G. (1987). Ultrastructural shape and three-dimensional organization of the intracuticular canal systems in the mineralized cuticle of the green crab Carcinus maenas. Tissue Cell 19(6): 839-857. dx.doi.org/10.1016/0040-8166(87)90024-3
In: Tissue and cell. Oliver and Boyd: Edinburgh. ISSN 0040-8166, more
Cuticle; pore canals; Crustacea; Carcinus
Two main self-contained canal systems are present in the crab mineralized cuticle. The first, or fibre canal system, is constituted by simple, unbranched vertical canals containing axially running fibres in close association with myoepidermal junctions. The second, or pore canal system, is composed of procuticular pore canals and epicuticular channels that prolong the procuticular canals. In opposition to widespread opinion, pore canals make up a three-dimensional branched system extending from the apical plasma membrane of the epidermis up to the epicuticle. Branching occurs by projections of lateral horizontal from the vertical canals at the lower level of the pigmented layer and by innumerable ramifications of epicuticular canals. In agreement with Neville's model for insects, vertical procuticular pore canals of crustacean mineralized cuticle, and also fibre canals, exhibit a twisted ribbon structure reflecting the helicoidal arrangement of the horizontal chitin-protein microfibrils.