Active transport is reliant on carrier proteins and thus follows the same rules as facilitated diffusion in that they are specific have a maximum rate and are subject to competition. Crucially they transport substances against their concentration gradient and so require energy to work.
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The adrenal glands are paired bodies lying cranial to the kidneys within the retroperitoneal space. The glands consist of two layers; the cortex and medulla.
The anus is the terminal portion of the alimentary tract which communicates with the external environment. Two sphincters control it's aperture. It allows faeces and gas to leave the body. Defeacation is the process where faeces are expelled from the rectum through the anus.
The Blood Brain Barrier refers to the mechanisms in place around the microvasculature of the brain to ensure optimal neural functioning. Endothelial cells are the structural basis of the blood brain barrier and are joined by tight cellular junctions formed by the transmembrane proteins the occludins and the claudins.
Blood cells develop in the bone marrow from a common stem cell in the process known as haematopoiesis. Once mature, cells are divided into groups that reflect their morphological and functional characteristics including the erythrocytes, or red blood cells, the granulocytes, the agranulocytes and the megakaryocytes.
Osteogenesis is the formation of bone. Bone forms from one of three lineages; the skull forms from the neural crest; the limb skeleton forms from the lateral plate mesoderm; and the axial skeleton forms from the paraxial mesoderm (sclerotome).
The Bursa of Fabricus is a primary lymphoid organ found in birds. The bursa was the first place that a certain subset of lymphocytes was observed and consequently they were named B lymphocytes (bursa of Fabricius or bursa equivalent organs). The bursa is involved in the differentiation of B lymphocytes.
Blood is supplied to the brain from a ventral arterial supply in all species; from a circle of arteries called the Circle of Willis (also called the cerebral arterial circle or arterial circle of Willis) which lies ventrally to the hypothalamus where it forms a loose ring around the infundibular stalk. Although the appearance of the circle of Willis is fairly constant amongst mammals, the sources of blood supply to the circle and the direction of flow around the circle are very species specific. Blood is supplied to the brain by the internal carotid artery in dogs and horses whilst in other domestic species the main blood supply is from branches of the maxillary artery.
The cecum is a blind ending diverticulum of the large intestine and it exists at the junction of the ileum and the ascending colon. Its size and physiological importance varies between species. It is a site of microbial fermentation, absorption and transportation.
Each mammary complex consists of 5-20 mammary units and their corresponding ducts. The ducts open separately on the tip of the teat. Shallow grooves indicate the border between complexes. An intermammary sulcus divides the right from the left row.
The lower urinary tract is the collection of organs which convey the formed urine from the kidneys to the exterior of the body. The urine is not altered in this part of the system in species other than the horse (where mucous is added) but instead its function is to collect and store the urine until enough of it is collected for release to become necessary. This gives the animal urinary continence. Three major structures make up this tract. The ureters, the bladder and the urethra.
Also referred to as the reticuloendothelial system or mononuclear phagocytic system. It is comprised of primary lymphoid organs (bone marrow, Bursa of Fabricius, the foetal liver and the thymus) which are responsible for the production of lymphocytes, and the secondary lymphoid organs (lymph nodes, spleen and mucosal associated lymphoid tissue) which function to provide an environment where lymphocytes can react to antigen from the tissue fluid, blood and mucosal surfaces.
It is important that all aspects of haemostasis can be independently evaluated. This will help to identify the phase affected and to pinpoint what the abnormality is. There are tests available to assess primary haemostasis, secondary haemostasis and fibrinolysis.
Embryo, when applied to mammals, is the term given to the developing organism from fertilisation to birth. Developmental biology, or embryology, is the study of the embryo as it transforms from a unicellular zygote to a multicellular, mulitsystemed organism which in some cases is ready to function autonomously at birth. Developmental biology is of interest to vets in understanding why organs and systems are the way they are, but also in understanding genetic diseases and applying cell based therapies to treat loss or damage to tissues.
Comprised of a group of duct-less glands with limited or no anatomical contact with each other, the endocrine system integrates and controls metabolic activity through the secretion of hormones into the vascular system. These hormones may have their effects on tissues and organs far from where they were produced.
The innate response to bacterial infection lies in its first-response role of detection of a foreign organism. By using the tools of Pattern-Recognition Receptors (PRRs), the innate response flags up problems while the adaptive response gets itself organized.
The mammary gland is a modified sweat gland that nourishes the young. It consists of the mamma and the teat. Undeveloped in both the male and female at birth, the female mammary gland begins to develop as a secondary sex characteristic at puberty.
Measures of effect and impact can be calculated using the same contingency table used to calculated measures of strength of association.
The mediastinum divides the thoracic cage into two halves. It extends from the Spine to the Sternum and contains many structures including blood vessels, nerves, oesophagus, trachea and heart.
The enlarged swelling of the gastrointestinal tract between the oesophagus and the duodenum is called the stomach. It is a simple structure in carnivores and a compound structure in ruminants. The stomach functions as a reservoir of food where digestion occurs through chemical and mechanical processes. This allows food to be broken down further and absorbed.
Olfaction is the sense of smell, which is the ability to perceive and distinguish odours. Most mammals have a good sense of smell, but most birds generally do not. The sense of smell is well-developed in carnivores (predators) and ungulates (prey). Fish also have a fairly well-developed sense of smell. Olfactory and gustatory receptors can combine to contribute to flavour.
The oesophageal groove is present in newborn ruminants. It is a channel taking milk from the oesophagus into the abomasum, bypassing the rumen, reticulum and omasum.
The oesophagus (or gullet) is a muscular tube which transports food from the pharynx to the stomach. A bolus of food is passed down the oesophagus by peristalsis. The oesophagus is divided into cervical, thoracic and abdominal sections.
Oogenesis is the process of producing the female gametes, the Ovum, from the primordial germ cells. The majority of the steps in oogenesis, up to the point of producing primary oocytes, occur pre-natally. Therefore, females are born with all of the Primary Oocytes that they will ever have as primary oocytes do not divide further.
Osmosis is the passive movement of water across a semi permeable membrane. It occurs in the opposite direction to diffusion of ions. Water moves from a region of low solute concentration and therefore high water concentration to a region of high solute concentration and low water concentration.
The Oviduct is the tube that links the ovary to the uterus and which the ovulated oocyte travels down to become fertilised by sperm present in the female tract. It is also refered to as the Fallopian tube, Uterine tube or Ovarian tube.
The Peripheral Nervous System is made up of cranial and spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are named after the vertebra immediately above it, except for cervical vertebra. There are 7 cervical vertebrae and 8 cervical spinal nerves. The peripheral nervous system can be divided into the somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system.
The paranasal sinuses are ventilated spaces connected to the nasal cavity. They develop as blind ending pouches between the lamina of the bones of the skull.
The parathyroid glands are multiple (generally four) small glands, approximately 1-2mm in length are located about the cranial trachea. Generally, there are two internal glands embedded within the thyroid Glands, and two external glands are outside the thyroid tissue. However, all of the parathyroid tissue may be embedded within the thyroid gland itself. In the horse, there are 'nests' of parathyroid tissue along the neck to the thoracic inlet.
Nerves of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) are composed of numerous bundles of nerve fibers that are surrounded by connective tissue. This connective tissue also contains a specific layer that is specialised to neurons; the peri-neurium. The outer layer of this connective tissue is called the epineurium and it surrounds both the perineurium and the nerve itself. Individual neurons found within each bundle are surrounded by the endoneurium.
Phagocytosis is a very primitive system of defence against infection, having even been shown to exist in invertebrates and single cell organisms. The discovery was made in starfish larvae by Elle Metchnikoff who subsequently won the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1908. The process of phagocytosis itself is a form of endocytosis (cell eating), with vesicular internalisation being the method of removal of pathogens and dead cells (those that have undergone apoptosis, or Programmed Cell Death). This internalised vesicle is referred to as the "phagosome".
The phospholipid bilayer is the fundamental structure which makes up the cell membrane. It is made of 2 sheets of phospholipid molecules which are said to have hydrophillic heads and hydrophobic tails. Therefore molecules on opposite sheets face back to back to protect their hydrophobic area from the surrounding intra or extracellular fluid. This creates a region inside the membrane which is hydrophobic.
Growth Hormone, also known as Somatotropin is a hormone produced by the Somatotropes of the anterior pituitary gland.
The rabbit is a monogastric hindgut fermenter and is a herbivore. Microbes in the hindgut produce volatile fatty acids (VFAs) which are available to the animal for energy. Microbes also produce vitamins and protein, which are available only in minimal quantities as they are produced in the hindgut (see advantages and disadvantages of hid gut fermentation). Most microbial fermentation occurs in the caecum (as opposed to the horse where most occurs in the colon). Rabbits usually eat at dusk.
Respiratory epithelium is a type of epithelium which lines both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. It consists of multiple layers of cylindrical epithelium, along with cilia and goblet cells.
The rumen is the first chamber of the ruminant stomach. It is the largest chamber and has regular contractions to move food around for digestion, eliminate gases through eructation and send food particles back to the mouth for remastication. The rumen breaks down food particles through mechanical digestion and fermentation with the help of symbiotic microbes. Volatile fatty acids are the main product of ruminant digestion.
Sensory information from the periphery of the animal ascends through the spinal cord and enters the higher levels of the brain. There are numerous pathways which allow different types of information to be passed to the brain. Types of general somatic sensation include pain, touch, temperature and kinaesthesia (conscious proprioception). This sensory information is sent to one of two destinations; the cerebral cortex or the cerebellum.
The small intestine extends from the pylorus of the stomach to the caecum. The small intestine recieves chyme from the stomach. It is the main site of chemical degradation and absorption of chyme. Fats are exclusively broken down in this part of the alimentary tract. Carbohydrates and proteins that are not degraded in the small intestine are available for microbial fermentation in the large intestine. The small intestine produces enzymes for digestion of protein, carbohydrate and fat and absorbs the products of their digestion. Enzymes are produced by glands in the intestinal wall and the pancreas. The gall bladder produces bile which emulsifies fats for digestion. Absorption is facilitated by ridges in the small intestine and by the presence of villi and microvilli.
Thermoregulation is the ability of an endothermic organism to maintain a relatively constant body temperature, despite fluctuations in temperature of the external environment. This is a vital part of homeostasis.