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Keywords:

  • Tetrahymena;
  • Epidermal growth factor (EGF);
  • Hormone treatment

Abstract

Tetrahymena pyriformiswas treated with insulin, histamine or serotonin for 30 min and epidermal growth factor (EGF) level was studied inside the cells using specific antibodies and flow cytometry as well as confocal microscopy. The EGF concentration was highly significantly elevated after hormone treatment, regardless of the hormone used. EGF was localized mainly in the cortical region (mucocysts) and in vesicles and this localization did not differ in untreated and treated cells. The results call attention to the possibility of interactions between hormones at unicellular level and points to the presence of a hormonal system in Tetrahymena that includes receptors, hormones and signal transduction pathways as well as hormonal interactions. This could be the basis of further evolution to the hormonal system of multicellulars.