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

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...

References

Abdallah EAM, Jett DA, Eldefrawi ME, Eldefrawi AT (1992) Differential effects of paraoxon on the M3 muscarinic receptor and its effector system in rat submaxillary gland cells. J Biochem Toxicol 7 125-132 Angelini C, DelGaudio R, Falugi C, Pernigotti R, Geraci G, Prestipino G, Pesando L (2000) Calcium signaling in sea urchin zygotes. In Proc 15th Meeting Sea Urchin Development, 29 Sept-3 Oct, Woods Hole, Massachusetts Angelini C, Baccetti B, Piomboni P, Trombino S, Aluigi MG, Stringara S,...

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...

The Potential of Echinoderm Adhesives

In view of the examples mentioned above, it appears that Mefp-1 has been used successfully in several applications. However, there are some limitations, such as requirement of post-translational modifications to certain amino acids and the need for a separate enzyme for curing (Strausberg and Link 1990). New adhesive molecules that could overcome these problems are therefore sought. In this context, echinoderm adhesives could offer novel features or performance characteristics for...

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...

Antimicrobial Activity

Results from some recent studies suggest that echinoderms are a potential source of novel antibiotics. Haug et al. 2002 found antibacterial activity in different body parts of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, the starfish Asterias rubens and the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa. Antibacterial and antifungal activity has been found in alcoholic extracts of a range of holothurian species from the Tamil Nadu coast, India. The bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila, Escherichia coli,...

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...

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...