open access

Vol 76, No 2 (2017)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2016-11-04
Submitted: 2016-07-29
Accepted: 2016-10-02
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Antler velvet is thicker in adult than in yearling pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus): a histological study

A. Bielli, A. Freitas-de-Melo, P. Genovese, M. Villagrán, R. Ungerfeld
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2016.0071
·
Pubmed: 27813624
·
Folia Morphol 2017;76(2):269-276.

open access

Vol 76, No 2 (2017)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2016-11-04
Submitted: 2016-07-29
Accepted: 2016-10-02

Abstract

Background: Antlers are lined by soft velvet tissue during antler growth. Later, the velvet is shed before rut onset. There are no detailed histological descriptions of the growing velvet, nor whether the velvet changes according to stag age. Our aims were to: 1) describe the basic histology of pampas deer antler velvet from adult and yearling males; and 2) determine the influence of age and time of antler growth on velvet’s tissues morphometry.

Materials and methods: Samples were collected from 10 stags allocated in two groups, either adult (3–5 years old, n = 5) or yearling males (2 years old, n = 5). The day of antler cast was recorded for each animal. In spring, the stags were anaesthetised and velvet samples were collected from the third tine’s distal end. Samples were described qualitatively and a restricted morphometrical analysis of the antler velvet was performed.

Results: The number of keratinocyte layers and the thicknesses of: total epidermis, corneum, intermediate and basale epidermal strata, total dermis, superficial and deep dermis were determined. Age and days after antler casting positively influenced in conjunction epidermal thickness (p = 0.037), and tended to influence both stratum intermedium (p = 0.076) and stratum corneum (p = 0.1) thicknesses. Age influenced stratum corneum thickness (p = 0.04). The pampas deer antler velvet lacked both sweat glands and arrector pili muscles.

Conclusions: The deep dermis was densely irrigated but displayed abundant and well developed collagen bundles. Both total epidermal and stratum corneum thicknesses related positively to the age of the animals but were not to the time since antler cast.  

Abstract

Background: Antlers are lined by soft velvet tissue during antler growth. Later, the velvet is shed before rut onset. There are no detailed histological descriptions of the growing velvet, nor whether the velvet changes according to stag age. Our aims were to: 1) describe the basic histology of pampas deer antler velvet from adult and yearling males; and 2) determine the influence of age and time of antler growth on velvet’s tissues morphometry.

Materials and methods: Samples were collected from 10 stags allocated in two groups, either adult (3–5 years old, n = 5) or yearling males (2 years old, n = 5). The day of antler cast was recorded for each animal. In spring, the stags were anaesthetised and velvet samples were collected from the third tine’s distal end. Samples were described qualitatively and a restricted morphometrical analysis of the antler velvet was performed.

Results: The number of keratinocyte layers and the thicknesses of: total epidermis, corneum, intermediate and basale epidermal strata, total dermis, superficial and deep dermis were determined. Age and days after antler casting positively influenced in conjunction epidermal thickness (p = 0.037), and tended to influence both stratum intermedium (p = 0.076) and stratum corneum (p = 0.1) thicknesses. Age influenced stratum corneum thickness (p = 0.04). The pampas deer antler velvet lacked both sweat glands and arrector pili muscles.

Conclusions: The deep dermis was densely irrigated but displayed abundant and well developed collagen bundles. Both total epidermal and stratum corneum thicknesses related positively to the age of the animals but were not to the time since antler cast.  

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Keywords

cervid, skin, histology, morphometry, growing antler

About this article
Title

Antler velvet is thicker in adult than in yearling pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus): a histological study

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 76, No 2 (2017)

Pages

269-276

Published online

2016-11-04

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2016.0071

Pubmed

27813624

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2017;76(2):269-276.

Keywords

cervid
skin
histology
morphometry
growing antler

Authors

A. Bielli
A. Freitas-de-Melo
P. Genovese
M. Villagrán
R. Ungerfeld

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