Ultrastructurally different muscle cell types in Eisenia foetida (Annelida, Oligochaeta).

Research paper by Mar M Royuela, Benito B Fraile, Rosa R García-Anchuelo, Ricardo R Paniagua

Indexed on: 01 Apr '95Published on: 01 Apr '95Published in: Journal of Morphology


Muscles in the body wall, intestinal wall, and contractile hemolymphatic vessels (pseudohearts) of an oligochaete anelid (Eisenia foetida) were studied by electron microscopy. The muscle cells in all locations, except for the outer layer of the pseudohearts, are variants of obliquely striated muscle cells. Cells comprising the circular layer of the body wall possess single, peripherally located myofibrils that occupy most of the cytoplasm and surround other cytoplasmic organelles. The nuclei of the cells lie peripherally to the myofibrils. The sarcomeres consist of thin and thick myofilaments that are arranged in parallel arrays. In one plane of view, the filaments appear to be oriented obliquely to Z bands. Thin myofilaments measure 5-6 nm in diameter. Thick myofilaments are fusiform in shape and their width decreases from their centers (40-45 nm) to their tips (23-25 nm). The thin/thick filament ratio in the A bands is 10. The Z bands consist of Z bars alternating with tubules of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Subsarcolemmal electron-dense plaques are found frequently. The cells forming the longitudinal layer of the body wall musculature are smaller than the cells in the circular layer and their thick filaments are smaller (31-33 nm centrally and 21-23 nm at the tips). Subsarcolemmal plaques are less numerous. The cells forming the heart wall inner layer, the large hemolymphatic vessels, and the intestinal wall are characterized by their large thick myofilaments (50-52 nm centrally and 27-28 nm at the tips) and abundance of mitochondria. The cells forming the outer muscular layer of the pseudohearts are smooth muscle cells. These cells are richer in thick filaments than vertebrate smooth muscle cells. They differ from obliquely striated muscle cells by possessing irregularly distributed electron-dense bodies for filament anchorage rather than sarcomeres and Z bands and by displaying tubules of smooth endoplasmic reticulum among the bundles of myofilaments. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Copyright © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.