Electron-dense germinal granules, which are usually regarded as markers and key organelles of germline cells, were revealed in the interstitial (stem) cells of the colonial hydroids Obelia longissima and Ectopleura crocea. The interstitial cells of O. longissima displayed intense alkaline phosphatase activity, a histochemical marker for vertebrate embryonic stem and primary germ cells, as well as positive reaction to proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), which is an immunochemical marker for cell reproduction. Our findings and the literature data suggest the evolutionary conservation and similarity of the morphological and functional organization of potentially gametogenic stem cells in asexually reproducing invertebrates and germ cells in all studied Metazoa. The self-renewing pool of such stem cells provides the cellular source for blastogenesis and gametogenesis and the cellular basis for life functions, including both asexual and sexual reproduction.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 21, 2011
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