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Iodine binding and peroxidase activity in the endostyle of Salpa fusiformis, Thalia democratica, Dolioletta gegenbauri and Doliolum nationalis (Tunicata, Thaliacea)

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Summary

The protothyroid region in the endostyles of four species of tunicates was examined by means of autoradiography and cytochemistry, at both the light and electronmicroscopic levels. To reveal the primary binding site for iodine, autoradiography was carried out on endostylar tissue from animals that had been incubated with high activity 125I- over a short period of time. The specific iodine binding enzyme, a peroxidase, was traced by its reaction with DAB. In accordance with previous findings, the iodinebinding cells proved to be the same as those containing the peroxidase. There were also strong indications of a secondary uptake of iodinated compounds and subsequent release into the body fluid. Together with the ultrastructural features, the data provided strong evidence indicating that these cells constitute a protothyroid region, which partly functions as an endocrine organ, possibly homologous with the vertebrate thyroid gland. Since the number of zones varied between the species, the numeration of the protothyroid region also varied. However, in all the examined endostyles, the protothyroid region was seen to be situated dorsolaterally to the glandular regions of the endostyle concerned with food capture.

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Correspondence to Gunnar Fredriksson.

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Fredriksson, G., Öfverholm, T. & Ericson, L.E. Iodine binding and peroxidase activity in the endostyle of Salpa fusiformis, Thalia democratica, Dolioletta gegenbauri and Doliolum nationalis (Tunicata, Thaliacea). Cell Tissue Res. 253, 403–411 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00222297

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Key words

  • Endostyle
  • Autoradiography
  • Cytochemistry
  • Iodination
  • Protothyroid
  • Salpa fusiformis, Thalia democratica, Dolioletta gegenbauri, Doliolum nationalis (Tunicata)