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Marino A.,Section of General Physiology and Pharmacology | La Spada G.,Section of General Physiology and Pharmacology
Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology | Year: 2012

Nematocytes' discharge is triggered to perform both defense and predation strategies in cnidarians and occurs under chemico-physical stimulation. In this study, different compounds such as amino acids and proteins (mucin, albumin, poly-l-lysine, trypsin), sugars and N-acetylate sugars (N-acetyl neuraminic acid, N-acetyl galactosamine, sucrose, glucose, agarose and trehalose), nucleotides (ATP and cAMP), were tested as chemosensitizers of nematocyte discharge in the oral arms of the scyphozoan Pelagia noctiluca, particularly abundant in the Strait of Messina (Italy). Excised oral arms were submitted to a combined chemico-physical stimulation by treatment with different compounds followed by mechanical stimulation by a non-vibrating test probe. Discharge induced by a chemico-physical stimulation was more significant than that obtained after mechanical stimulation alone. A chemosensitizing mechanism, with a dose-dependent effect, was observed after treatment with sugars, amino compounds such as glutathione, nucleotides and mucin, according to that already seen in sea anemones. Such findings suggest that, though Anthozoa and Scyphozoa exhibit different divergence times during the evolutionary process, the discharge activation exhibits common features, probably derived from their last common ancestor. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

Marino A.,Section of General Physiology and Pharmacology | Morabito R.,Section of General Physiology and Pharmacology | La Spada G.,Section of General Physiology and Pharmacology | Adragna N.C.,Wright State University | Lauf P.K.,Wright State University
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2010

The nature and role of potassium (K) and water transport mediating hyposmotically-induced regulatory volume decrease (RVD) were studied in nematocytes dissociated with 605 mM thiocyanate from acontia of the Anthozoan Aiptasia diaphana. Cell volume and hence RVD were calculated from the inverse ratios of the cross sectional areas of nematocytes (A/Ao) measured before (Ao) and after (A) challenge with 65% artificial sea water (ASW). To distinguish between K channels and K-Cl cotransport (KCC), external sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) were replaced by K and nitrate (NO3), respectively. Inhibitors were added to identify K channels (barium, Ba), and putative kinase (N-ethylmaleimide, NEM) and phosphatase (okadaic acid, OA) regulation of KCC. In 65% NaCl ASW, nematocytes displayed a biphasic change in A/Ao, peaking within 4 min due to osmotic water entry and thereafter declining within 6 min due to RVD. Changing NaCl to KCl or NaNO3 ASW did not affect the osmotic phase but attenuated RVD, consistent with K channel and KCC mechanisms. Ba (3 mM) inhibited RVD. NEM and OA, applied separately, inhibited the osmotic phase and muted RVD suggesting primary action on water transport (aquaporins). NEM and OA together reduced the peak A/Ao ratio during the osmotic phase whereas RVD was inhibited when OA preceded NEM. Thus, both K channels and KCC partake in the nematocyte RVD, the extent of which is determined by functional thiols and dephosphorylation of putative aquaporins facilitating the preceding osmotic water shifts. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

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