Cell renewal in the epithelium of the alimentary tract of the larval lamprey, Petromyzon marinus L.

Research paper by Susan J SJ Hansen, John H JH Youson

Indexed on: 01 Feb '78Published on: 01 Feb '78Published in: Journal of Morphology


Light microscopic autoradiography with H-thymidine demonstrates that the three regions of the alimentary tract in the larval (ammocoete) lamprey, Petromyzon marinus L., possess different patterns for renewing their epithelium. In the oesophagus, columnar and mucous cells originate from stem cells located at the bases of folds and migrate to the tops of the folds where they are apparently extruded. Ciliated cells, located only at the tops of the folds, seem to differentiate from migrating columnar cells. In the anterior intestine, stem cells are present throughout the epithelium so that there is limited migration of cells and their extrusion occurs randomly. In the posterior intestine, the stem cells located at the bases of the typhlosole provide a continuous population that differentiates and migrates to the top of the typhlosole and to the opposite epithelial wall where they are presumably extruded. The rates of cell renewal in all three epithelial regions of the alimentary tract are slower in animals maintained at 10 ± 1°C compared with those kept at 21 ± 1°C. Comparatively, ammocoetes have the least specialized system for cell renewal known in the alimentary tract of a vertebrate. Copyright © 1978 Wiley-Liss, Inc.