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Epidermal receptor development and sensory pathways in vitally stained amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae)

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Holland, N.D. and Yu, J-K. 2002. Epidermal receptor development and sensory pathways in vitally stained amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae). —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 83: 309–319

Chloromethyl (CM) DiI was applied to the exterior of living embryos, larvae, and metamorphic juveniles of amphioxus. This fluorescent dye is taken up preferentially (but not highly selectively) by epidermal receptors and often stains sensory axons to their full extent. Type I primary receptors in the epidermis first become morphologically detectable along the rostrocaudal axis of the 2.5 day larva when their epidermal perikarya extend unbranched axons to the nerve cord. These axons run posteriorly or anteriorly within the nerve cord, depending on whether their perikarya are located, respectively, rostral or caudal to the most posterior pharyngeal slit. In later larvae, axons of type I receptors are organized into a dorsal and a subdorsal sensory tract on either side of the nerve cord. In the epidermis of metamorphic juveniles, CM-DiI also stains type II receptors (which are axonless, secondary receptors) and ventral pit cells (which may not be receptors). It is probable, but not yet conclusively demonstrated, that peripheral neurites from Retzius bipolar cells (primary intramedullary sensory neurones) synapse with type II secondary epidermal receptors or ramify freely among the other epidermal cells. The discussion considers homologies among epidermal sensory receptors in chordates.
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Keywords: Rohon–Béard neurones; club-shaped gland; free nerve endings; frontal eye; neural crest; neurogenic placodes; type I receptors; type II receptors; ventral pit cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093–0202 USA

Publication date: 2002-10-01

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