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The attachment complex of brachiolaria larvae of the sea star Asterias rubens (Echinodermata): an ultrastructural and immunocytochemical study
Haesaerts, D.; Jangoux, M.; Flammang, P. (2005). The attachment complex of brachiolaria larvae of the sea star Asterias rubens (Echinodermata): an ultrastructural and immunocytochemical study. Zoomorphology 124(2): 67-78.
In: Zoomorphology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0720-213X; e-ISSN 1432-234X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    adhesion; sensory testing; perimetamorphic period;cross-immunoreactivity; duo-gland system; Asteroidea

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    The attachment complex of brachiolaria larvae of the asteroid Asterias rubens comprises three brachiolar arms and an adhesive disc located on the preoral lobe. The former are used in temporary attachment and sensory testing of the substratum, whereas the latter is used for permanent fixation to the substratum at the onset of metamorphosis. Brachiolar arms are hollow structures consisting of an extensible stem tipped by a crown of dome-like ciliated papillae. The papilla epidermis is composed of secretory cells (type A, B and C cells), non-secretory ciliated cells, neurosecretory-like cells and support cells. Type A and B secretory cells fill a large part of the papilla epidermis and are always closely associated. They presumably form a duo-gland adhesive system in which type A and B cells are respectively adhesive and de-adhesive in function. The adhesive disc is an epidermal structure mainly composed of secretory cells and support cells. Secretory cells produce the cement, which anchor the metamorphic larva to the substratum until the podia are developed. The relatedness between the composition of the adhesive material in the brachiolaria attachment complex and in the podia of adults was investigated by immunocytochemistry using antibodies raised against podial adhesive secretions of A. rubens. Type A secretory cells were the only immunolabelled cells indicating that their temporary adhesive shares common epitopes with the one of podia. The attachment pattern displayed by the individuals of A. rubens during the perimetamorphic period—temporary, permanent, temporary—is unique among marine non-vertebrate Metazoa.

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