Cytoskeleton Proteins

The cytoskeleton is a cellular scaffolding or skeleton, used to maintain and or alter cellular shape. It appears to be evident that an organized set of proteins must operate in order to accomplish the rapid movements that all coelomocyte populations carry out. The expression of one such specific protein, kinesin, was first shown by domain-specific monoclonal antibodies (McAbs) the protein is highly concentrated in restricted cellular domains, always in association with microtubules which are...

Sea Urchin Coelomocytes

The coelomocytes are immune effector cells of sea urchins, which are contained in the coelomic cavity of the animals. These cells were found to strongly respond to a number of environmental and experimentally induced stresses (Matranga et al. 2000, 2002 Matranga and Bonaventura 2002 see also Matranga et al., this Vol.). In the experiments described below, the sea urchin P. lividus was investigated. The coelomocytes were obtained as a total cell population by bleeding the animals through a cut...

Biotechnological Potential of MCT

Consideration of the biotechnological potential of MCT must of necessity be highly speculative in view of our currently incomplete knowledge of the molecular organisation of MCT and the molecular mechanism underpinning its variable tensility. Theoretically MCT could be a source of, or an inspiration for, (1) new pharmacological agents or strategies and (2) new composite materials. Pharmacological Agents or Strategies It hardly needs to be reiterated that the outstanding property of MCT is its...

The Southern Adriatic Sea A Case Study for the Assessment of TNT Exposure

The studies described above were the first example of the use of sea urchin coelomocytes for monitoring environmental stress and opened the way to other field studies. This was the case for a campaign that took place in June 2003 around Pianosa Island (Tremiti Islands Marine Protected Area, Adriatic Sea, Italy), sponsored by the Istituto Centrale per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica Applicata al Mare (ICRAM). This site was chosen because of the large number of TNT-containing bombs dumped at...

Neurotoxic Contaminants

A class of contaminants diffused all over the world is represented by neurotoxic substances, in particular organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CB) pesticides. These are largely used in European countries for many purposes, for example in agriculture, gardening and even domestic pest control. Among these, OP compounds have been used for a great number of other purposes, e.g. as chemical weapons and medical compounds (anxiolytics, antispasmoics, regulators of eye pressure, and drugs for...

Experimental Approach

Effect of UV-B Radiation on P. lividus Embryo Development Sea urchin embryos occurring in the superficial layers of seawater and lacking a protective epidermal layer are particularly prone to UV-B damage. The effects of UV radiation have been studied on larvae and early juveniles of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius (Yabe et al. 1998). We used embryos of the sea urchin P. lividus as a cellular biosensor for monitoring the effects of UV-B and its combined effects with pollutants...

Discussion

The production of reactive oxygen species constitutes one of the main mechanisms of destruction of foreign material in invertebrates. In echinoderms, it was first demonstrated by Ito et al. (1992) who found that sea urchin amoebocytes produce hydrogen peroxide when stimulated by erythrocytes. From our studies, bacteria or bacterial wall components also appear as efficient stimulators of ROS production. On the other hand, the parasitism of starfishes by a castrating ciliate or the challenge of...

Other Types of Bioactive Compounds Branched Chain Fatty Acids Lectins Opsonins Analgesics and Antiulcer Compounds

Branched-chain fatty acids or fatty alcohols have been reported to possess antitumour activity in various tumour models. Yang et al. (2003) reported that a branched-chain fatty acid, 12-methyltetradecanoic acid (12-MTA), isolated from a sea cucumber, inhibited proliferation of prostate cancer cell lines in culture via apoptosis. The authors suggest that this agent may be a novel adjunctive therapy for selected malignancies including prostate cancer. Lectins are proteins that possess binding...

References

Aminin DL, Agafonova IG, Federov SN (1995) Biological activity of disulfated polyhydrox-ysteroids from the Pacific brittle star Ophiopholis aculeata. Com Biochem Physiol 112C 201-204 Anderson S, Hose JE, Knezovic JP (1994) Genotoxic and developmental effects in sea urchin are sensitive indicators of effects of genotoxic chemicals. Environ Toxicol Chem 13 1033-1041 Arnold SF, Klotz DM, Collin BM, Vonier PM, Gillette L Jr, McLachlan JA (1996) Synergistic activation of estrogen receptor with...

Use of Echinoderm Embryos to Study the Basic Mechanisms of Communication Among Cells

Developmental biology is a discipline studying the mechanisms regulating embryogenesis and it is one of the most attractive fields in rapid expansion among the biological sciences. Its study is becoming essential for the comprehension of any other fields in biology, since it combines molecular and cellular biology, physiology, anatomy, immunology, research on cancer and also evolution and ecology. Development is mainly devoted to the production and organisation of all the different cellular...

Tube Feet

Being exclusively benthic animals, echinoderms have activities and adaptations that are correlated with a benthic existence. Most of these activities, such as attachment to the substratum, locomotion, handling of food and burrow-building, rely on adhesive secretions allowing the animal to stick to or to manipulate a substratum. In post-metamorphic echinoderms, these adhesive secretions are always produced by specialized organs, the podia or tube feet. These are the external appendages of the...

Sea Urchin Larviculture

Echinodermata Life Cycle

Echinoids have been successfully raised in the laboratory for over 100 years (MacBride 1903). The reproductive periodicity for many echinoid species is well described temperate water species in culture tend to have one spawning period per year (Himmelman 1977 Byrne 1993 Kelly 2000 Fig. 1) and brood stock are collected locally. Gravid individuals are induced to spawn either by temperature shock or, commonly, by injection of 0.5 M KCl to the coelom via the peristomal membrane. The concentration...

Cuvierian Tubules

Cuvierian tubules are peculiar organs found in several species of holothuroids (sea cucumbers), all belonging exclusively to the family Holothuriidae. Tubules (Fig. 4A) occurring in holothuroids of the genera Bohadschia, Holothuria and Pearsonothuria are expelled as sticky white threads that function as a defence mechanism against predators (Hamel and Mercier 2000 Flammang et al. 2002). Cuvierian tubule adhesion is a typical example of instantaneous adhesion, adhesion being achieved in a matter...

Mechanical Adaptability of Collagenous Tissue

In its role as a structural material, the principal functions of collagenous tissue are to transmit, resist and dissipate mechanical forces and to store and release elastic strain energy. These functions depend on the tissue as a whole possessing certain 'fit for purpose' mechanical properties (tensile strength, stiffness, resilience, etc.), which are the result of a combination of the mechanical properties of its individual structural components, the micro-architectural organisation of these...

The Regenerative Potential of Crinoids

Experiments Crinoids

Crinoids are well known for their spectacular regenerative capabilities extensively and successfully employed to reconstruct both external parts, namely arms, pinnules and cirri, and internal organs, such as digestive apparatus, gonads and even complete visceral mass, which can be frequently lost following traumatic injury, predation or spontaneous autotomy. Specimens collected in nature always show regenerating arms at different stages of growth (Fig. 1a). These regenerative phenomena can be...

Artificial Diets

The use of artificial diets has been widely adopted by researchers outside of Japan as they generally produce better growth rates than seaweeds. Seaweeds, potentially a cheap source of feed, have the disadvantage of being of variable quality and in variable supply over a season. In some regions, the large-scale harvesting of seaweeds would be regarded as an environmentally unsound practice. Artificial diets are required to raise sea urchins in monoculture from juveniles to market size, for use...

Saponins

It has long been known that some holothurian species contain toxins. In the southern Pacific and Tokara Islands (islands of southern Japan), a peculiar fishing method using sea cucumbers is employed. The autochthones catch paralyzed fish after they throw extracts or fragments of sea cucumbers into tidal pools. This toxic effect results from saponins. Cooper (1880) reported that some holothurians discharged white filamentous structures, called Cuvierian tubules. Contact with these tubules also...

Laboratory Experiments

The growing concern over the health state of the sea has attracted the attention of many laboratories to the use of aquatic invertebrates, e.g. echino-derms, as tools for monitoring environmental hazards. However, only few investigations report the effects of pollution in terms of cellular and biochemical modifications on adults of higher marine invertebrates, such as the sea urchin. Most of the reports present in the literature describe in fact the toxic teratogenic effects of various chemical...

Stress Response Proteins

The 4-D model postulated by Matzinger for the functioning of the vertebrate immune system, namely Danger, Death, Destruction, and Distress, constitutes an attractive working hypothesis that could be tested using sea urchin coelomocytes. However, very few, if any, systematic and consistent studies testing this hypothesis are provided in the literature. We will give just a few examples of proteins, related to stress response, which have attracted the attention of investigators. It is known that,...

Echinoderms Their Culture and Bioactive Compounds

Of the five extant classes of echinoderms, it is the sea urchins (Echinoidea) and the sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea) that are both commercially fished and heavily overexploited. In sea urchins, it is the gonad of both males and females, normally referred to as 'roe', that is a sought-after food. In the sea cucumber, the principal product is the boiled and dried body-wall or Cbeche-de-mef for which there is an increasing demand. Many sea urchin and sea cucumber fisheries still have no...

Organisation of MCT

Myocytes, which were discussed in the preceding section, have been found in only a small minority of mutable collagenous structures. All of these structures, however, always contain two other types of cell. The first is characterised by the presence of heterogeneous vacuoles that appear to be lysosomal and may enclose cytoplasmic debris or collagen fibrils. These cells tend to have a roughly fusiform outline and long, sometimes branching, processes (see, e.g.,Wilkie 1988 Wilkie et al. 1992)....

Endocrine Disrupters and Echinoderms

Some persistent and widely diffused contaminants of anthropogenic origin can be easily bioaccumulated by the organisms and exert their effects as endocrine disrupters (EDs). According to a recent definition (Holmes et al. 1997 Stahl et al. 1999), an ED is an exogenous substance that causes adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, secondary to changes in endocrine function. This means that these compounds can affect significantly the exposed organisms, by modifying the...

Measurement of Reactive Oxygen Species ROS Production

Luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence (LCL) has been used for a long time for the measurement of the respiratory burst of vertebrate phagocytic cells. This method is considered to be sensitive to both the formation of oxygen radicals and the activity of the endogenous peroxidase, myeloperoxidase (MPO). The signal obtained using invertebrate immune cells is often much lower compared to their vertebrate counterparts (Torreilles et al. 1996). This can be improved by adding an exogenous peroxidase...

Taxonomic index

Acanthaster planci 4,252,257,258 Achnanthes 152 Actinopyga mauritania 151 Actinopyga mauritiana 225 Actinopyga miliaris 155 Actinpya agassizi 254 Aeromonas hydrophila 155 Amphipolis squamata 4 Amphora 152 Antedon bifida 209 Antedon mediterranea 156,167,171,172, 178-180,184-186,190,224 Anthocidaris crassispina 224,258,261 Aphocallistes vastus 129,130 Apostichopus japonicus 261 Arbacia lixula 204 Arbacia punctulata 95 Aspergillus 155 Aspergillus oryzae 254 Aspidochirotida 150 Asterias amurensis...

Fertilisation

Sea Urchin Sperm Png

Fertilisation has been the most investigated point in the history of research, and the sea urchin has been the most investigated model in this respect authors such as Epel (Epel 1975 Kuo et al. 2000) and Jaffe,both Laurinda and Lionel (Jaffe 1976, 1980, 1983 Jaffe and Robinson 1978 Turner et al. 1984), investigated the electrophysiological events Vacquier (1969, 1981 Vacquier and Moy 1977) and Lennarz (Schmell et al. 1977 Ohlendieck et al. 1994 Ohlendieck and Lennarz 1996 Just and Lennarz 1997)...

Molecular Mechanism of MCT Mutability

There is no evidence that the variable tensility of MCT involves changes in the mechanical properties of the collagen fibrils. This would be highly unlikely on a priori grounds, in view of the similarities between the collagen fibrils of MCT and those of vertebrate connective tissue in terms of (1) fibril shape, supramolecular organisation and intermolecular crosslink biochemistry, and (2) the structure of their constituent collagen molecules. Furthermore, numerous ultrastructural...

Regeneration in Echinoderms

In spite of the wide choice of potential models for studying regeneration, this phenomenon has been extensively explored only in a few animals, which traditionally monopolized the attention of the developmental biologists. In contrast, with regard to many animal groups well known for their regenerative capabilities, there are surprising gaps in knowledge in terms of not only cellular and molecular aspects of regeneration,but also basic mechanisms (Candia Carnevali and Bonasoro 2001a). Regarding...

Cell Cultures of Coelomocytes New Tools to Detect Marine Pollution

As already mentioned, the development of in vitro cultures of coelomocytes has been considered important and recommended in order to better analyze the mechanisms involved in defence stress response and to overcome the stress of manipulation. Media for keeping sea urchin coelomocytes outside of the animal, for a reasonably sufficient period of time, generally involve the use of anti-coagulant reagents, such as the chelating agents EDTA and EGTA. In our studies, P.lividus coelomocytes were kept...

Echinodermata References

Abarzua S, Jakubowski S 1995 Biotechnological investigation for the prevention of bio-fouling. I. Biological and biochemical principles for the prevention of biofouling. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 123 301-312 Albala DM 2003 Fibrin sealants in clinical practice. Cardiovascular Surg 11 S1 5-11 Barker MF 1978 Structure of the organs of attachment of brachiolaria larvae of Stichaster australis Verrill and Coscinasterias calamaria Gray Echinodermata Asteroidea . J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 33 1-36 Benedict CV,...

Marine Invertebrates as Bioindicators

Until recently, research on biological effects of UV-B radiation in the marine environment primarily focused on phytoplankton. However, marine invertebrates are highly sensitive to physical and or chemical environmental stressors and, consequently, the analysis of their molecular responses to UV-B has gained increasing attention. In addition, these animals developed various pro- tective mechanisms against such stressors e.g. by induction of heat shock proteins Koziol et al. 1996 M ller et al....

Carotenoids in Sea Urchin Diets

Roe colour is a critical factor in the commercial product poor or variable gonad colour at point of sale has a detrimental effect on the value of all species. Therefore cost-effective diets that positively enhance roe colour in adult urchins are key to the success of the industry. Sea urchins do not synthe-sise carotenoid pigments de novo, so the coloration of their gonad is the result of selective accumulation and modification of pigments from their diet. However, relatively little information...

Echinoderm Coelomocytes as Immune Effector Cells Morphological Features and Recognized Functions

Vibratile Cells

In all organisms the first defence against infections involves a physical barrier to invasions by pathogens or foreign substances, provided by their body coats which physically prevent the interaction between the host and the invading organism. However, when pathogens accidentally or experimentally penetrate this barrier they first encounter generic or specific molecules that restrict the infection. The second-line defence consists of cells that can engulf phagocytose foreign substances or...

Agglutinins Lectins and Adhesion Molecules

One of the major events that are macroscopically observed in response to pathogens or experimental manipulation is the aggregation of coelomocytes to form clots or to encapsulate hosts. Classically, studies on agglutination of exogenously injected red blood cells into the sea urchin coelomic cavity led to the partial characterization of many molecules. The aggregation of phagocytes at inflammatory sites is a feature that invertebrates and vertebrates have in common. The recruitment of cells,...

Echinodermata Immune System

Marine animals were the first animals that had to evolve defence strategies for their survival. To cope with possibly dangerous events, marine organisms have developed over millions of years what V. Matranga e-mail matranga ibim.cnr.it ,A. Pinsino,M. Celi, A. Natoli, R. Bonaventura Istituto di Biomedicina e Immunologia Molecolare IBIM Alberto Monroy, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche,Via U. La Malfa 153,90146 Palermo, Italy H.C. Schr der, W.E.G. M ller...

Why Study Echinoderms

There are some features that make echinoderms so interesting to study. First, their sensitivity to environmental changes in seawater ecosystems. It is well known that the disappearance of fragile species from certain geographic areas is in direct relationship with high contamination of seawater and sedi ments, and echinoderms are one such fragile species. In particular, embryos, juveniles and adults of the classes Echinoidea and Asteroidea are well utilised in studies on marine pollution, since...