The avian Harderian gland: morphology and immunology

The avian Harderian gland: morphology and immunology

The avian Harderian gland: morphology and immunology

Introduction

The Harderian gland is a tubuloalveolar gland located within the orbit behind the eyeball of terrestrial vertebrates that exhibit a nictitating membrane. It was first described by Johan Jacob Harder in 1694 in the orbit of the deer Dama Vulgaris. Since that time the Harderian gland has been found in amphibians,reptiles, birds, and mammals. It is usually located medial posterior to the eyeball, and its duct opens on or near the nictitating membrane naso-ventrally. However, the Harderian gland is reported to be rudimentary in monkeys and may be in vestigial form in the human fetus (Kennedy, 1970). The composition of Harderian gland secretions varies greatly between vertebrate classes.

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