Identification of nerve plexi in connective tissues of the sea cucumber Holothuria glaberrima by using a novel nerve-specific antibody

Carlos A. Díaz-Balzac, Guido Santacana-Laffitte, José E. San Miguel-Ruíz, Karen Tossas, Griselle Valentín-Tirado, Marisela Rives-Sánchez, Akram Mesleh, Irma I. Torres, José E. García-Arrarás

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The echinoderm nervous system is one of the least studied among invertebrates, partly because the tools available to study the neurobiology of this phylum are limited. We have now produced a monoclonal antibody (RN1) that labels a nervous system component of the sea cucumber Holothuria glaberrima. Western blots show that our antibody recognizes a major band of 66 kDa and a minor band of 53 kDa. Immunohistological experiments show that, in H. glaberrima, the antibody distinctly labels most of the known nervous system structures and some components that were previously unknown or little studied. A surprising finding was the labeling of nervous plexi within the connective tissue compartments of all organs studied. Double labeling with holothurian neuropeptides and an echinoderm synaptotagmin showed that RN1 labeled most, if not all, of the fibers labeled by these neuronal markers, but also a larger component of cells and fibers. The presence of a distinct connective tissue plexus in holothurians is highly significant since these organisms possess mutable connective tissues that change viscosity under the control of the nervous system. Therefore, the cells and fibers recognized by our monoclonal antibodies may be involved in controlling tensility changes in echinoderm connective tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-42
Number of pages15
JournalBiological Bulletin
Volume213
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

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