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

Formation of new sensory cells in deafferented tuberous organs of the gymnotid fish Eigenmannia virescens.

The cutaneous electroreceptor "tuberous organs" of the lateral line system of Eigenmannia virescens were studied at light and electron microscopic levels with immunohistochemical and autoradiographic techniques after sectioning of the posterior branch of the lateral line nerve. After deafferentation total degeneration of the sensory cells was observed. The accessory cells of the basal platform, however, remain intact and undergo a process of differentiation. The cytoplasms and nuclei of these cells increase in volume, and the nuclei incorporate tritiated thymidine. In control tuberous organs with intact innervation, tritiated thymidine is absorbed by the nuclei of the elongated epidermal cells surrounding the sensory cavity. The newly formed sensory cells, but not those of the intact organs, are substance P immunoreactive. They have synaptic bars surrounded by vesicles and their free membrane surface is covered with microvilli. The new sensory cells are fully differentiated 35 days after the lateral line was cut. These results demonstrate that in the tuberous organs of E. virescens new sensory cells are formed in the absence of an innervation.[1]


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