Marine Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 169–182 | Cite as

Origin and development of the amoebocytes of Nicolea zostericola (Polychaeta: Terebellidae) with a discussion of their possible role in oogenesis

  • K. J. Eckelbarger


Three types of amoebocytes are present at different stages in the life history of Nicolea zostericola (Grube, 1860): a granular amoebocyte or “spindle cell” and 2 agranular amoebocytes, designated Type I and Type II. The agranular amoebocytes originate from specific sites on the lateral parietal peritoneum of the coelomic cavity in all the thoracic and a few abdominal segments. The origin of the granular amoebocyte is unknown. In juvenile worms the Type I amoebocyte enters the coelomic fluid and accumulates lipid and glycogen, presumably derived from reserves stored in the parietal peritoneum. Near the beginning of the vitellogenic phase of oogenesis, the Type I amoebocyte disappears and a Type II form is produced by the peritoneum. Type II cells differ cytologically from the Type I form by containing extensive rough ER (endoplasmic reticulum), Golgi complexes and free ribosomes; they appear to synthesize protein for export. At the end of vitellogenesis and near spawning, amoebocytes undergo alterations which include the migration of the nucleus to a central position, the formation of stacks and whirls of rough ER cisternae, and the appearance of vacuoles throughout the cytoplasm. It is suggested that the agranular amoebocytes obtain nutrients from food reserves stored in the parietal peritoneum and transfer them to the oocytes for use in yolk synthesis. The function of the granular amoebocytes is unknown.


Polychaete Dense Granule Peritoneal Cell Parietal Peritoneum Coelomic Fluid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. J. Eckelbarger
    • 1
  1. 1.Harbor Branch Foundation, IncFort PierceUSA

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