Two types of endothelial cells in the heart of platyfish (Poeciliidae: Teleostei).
The present study describes two structurally and functionally different endothelial cell types in the heart of platyfish (Xiphophorus maculatus), which reflect adaptions to two quite unlike environments in this organ. The endothelial layers on the wall and valves of the ventricular apertures come in contact with only a small amount of the blood volume and have not evolved any blood cleaning abilities. These endothelial layers mainly protect the underlying tissue against the strain caused by a high blood flow. In contrast, the endothelium on the muscle trabeculae within the heart wall comes in contact with a large part of the blood volume at a low strain and have evolved structural features which make them highly efficient as blood cleaning tissue in this species.