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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Electron-microscopic immunocytochemistry of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the ascidian endostyle.

The cellular and subcellular distribution of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) in the endostyle of three species of ascidians, Ciona intestinalis, Corella parallelogramma, Ascidia mentula, was studied by light- (immunoperoxidase) and electron-microscopic (immunogold) immunocytochemistry. At the light-microscopic level 5-HT-like immunoreactivity (5-HT-LI) was exclusively found in cells located in the lateral portion of the endostyle, between zone 7, known to have iodinating capacity, and zone 8, which consists of ciliated cells. At the electron-microscopic level, the 5-HT-immunoreactive cells were found to correspond to cells containing polymorphous, dense granules, 100-300 nm in diameter. The granules were located in the supranuclear cytoplasm facing the endostyle lumen as well as in the infranuclear cytoplasm facing the extracellular space. Quantification showed that the 5-HT-LI was considerably higher (13-67 times) in cytoplasmic areas containing granules as compared to areas devoid of granules. Most, but not all, of the 5-HT-LI was associated with the dense core of the granules. In conclusion, serotonin-containing cells are located in the peripheral portion of the endostyle, between zones 7 and 8. Serotonin is stored in cytoplasmic granules that are present both in the apical and basal cytoplasm. This suggests the possibility that the cells are bipolar and secrete serotonin both in a basal direction to the extracellular space, and in an apical direction to the pharyngeal lumen.[1]


  1. Electron-microscopic immunocytochemistry of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the ascidian endostyle. Nilsson, O., Fredriksson, G., Ofverholm, T., Ericson, L.E. Cell Tissue Res. (1988) [Pubmed]
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