Cholinergic regulation of the sea urchin embryonic and larval development

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Choline esters of polyenoic fatty acids block cleavage divisions of sea urchins and evoke the formation of one-cell multinuclear embryos. If the fatty acids AA-Ch or DHA-Ch are added at the mid or late blastula stage, many cells are extruded, forming extra-embryonic cell clusters near the animal pole of embryos or larvae. Both effects are prevented by dimethylaminoethyl esters of polyenoic fatty acids (AA-DMAE or DHA-DMAE) or their 5-hydroxytryptamides. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists, imechine, d-tubocurarine or QX-222 provide partial protection against AA-Ch or DHA-Ch. The organophosphate pesticide, chlorpyrifos, or a combination of (-)-nicotine + phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, also evoke the mass extrusion of transformed embryonic cells at the animal pole of larvae. These effects are similarly antagonized by AA-DMAE, DHA-DMAE, or fatty acids 5-hydroxytryptamides. Taking together, these results suggest that AA-Ch and DHA-Ch act on sea urchin embryos and larvae as agonists of acetylcholine receptors, whereas AA-DMAE and DHA-DMAE act as antagonists. The ability of fatty acids 5-hydroxytryptamides to prevent the effects of AA-Ch or DHA-Ch may be due to restoration of the normal dynamic balance of cholinergic and serotonergic signaling during cleavage divisions and gastrulation.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Buznikov, GA; Bezuglov, VV; Nikitina, LA; Slotkin, TA; Lauder, JM

Published Date

  • January 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 87 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1548 - 1556

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0869-8139

Citation Source

  • Scopus