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Keywords:

  • Extracellular matrix;
  • Cnidaria;
  • Aurelia aurita;
  • Mesogleal cells;
  • Mesoglea

Abstract

The extracellular matrix of the jellyfish Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa, Cnidaria), known as the mesoglea, is populated by numerous mesogleal cells (Mc). We determined the pattern of the Mc and the mesoglea, raised polyclonal antibodies (RA47) against the major mesogleal protein pA47 (47 kDa) and checked their specificity. In the mesoglea, RA47 stains pA47 itself. In immunoblots of Mc, RA47 stains bands of 120 kDa and 80 kDa; weaker staining is observed at pA47. The same staining pattern is seen on blots of jellyfish epidermal cells and of whole Hydra (Hydrozoa) or isolated mesoglea of Hydra. Our data indicate that pA47 is synthesized by Mc and epidermal cells as high molecular precursors. Using immunostaining techniques, we showed Mc to be involved in the formation of mesogleal non-collagenous (called “elastic” in classic morphological studies) fibres. The biochemical and morphological data suggest that Mc originate from the epidermis.