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Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 251–261 | Cite as

Multifunctional features of a gastrodermal sensory cell inHydra: three-dimensional study

  • J. A. Westfall
  • J. D. Wilson
  • R. A. Rogers
  • J. C. Kinnamon
Article

Summary

Computer-assisted, three-dimensional reconstructions of two gastrodermal sensory cells from transmission electron micrographs of serial sections ofHydra revealed a unipolar morphology with the nucleus near an apical cilium and a simple unbranched axon with a widened terminal. The sensory cells were similar in size and shape to a unipolar sensory cell isolated from macerated gastrodermis and examined with scanning electron microscopy. In thin sections, the cells were characterized by the presence of numerous dense-cored vesicles in the axon and its terminal. A few dense-cored vesicles were aligned at electron-dense synaptic foci in the axon terminal of the sensory cell, which formed an axo-axonal synapse with a nearby centrally located ganglion cell and a neuromuscular synapse with the basal myoneme of a digestive cell. The ganglion cell possessed a perikaryal cilium and a slender axon that extended adjacent to the sensory cell terminal, where it formed anen passant axo-axonal synapse in reciprocal arrangement with that of the sensory cell. In addition, the ganglion cell axon formed a neuromuscular synapse in sequence with the sensory cell axo-axonal synapse. The presence of a large number of neurosecretory-like granules, apical cilium and reciprocal interneuronal and neuromuscular synaptic loci suggests that this gastrodermal sensory cell, characterized ultrastructurally for the first time, represents a third type of multifunctional neuron inHydra. Thus,Hydra may contain primitive stem-like neurons, which are sensory-motor and also function in both neurosecretion and neurotransmission.

Keywords

Ganglion Cell Transmission Electron Micrographs Axon Terminal Sensory Cell Cell Terminal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Westfall
    • 1
  • J. D. Wilson
    • 1
  • R. A. Rogers
    • 1
  • J. C. Kinnamon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Veterinary Medical ScienceKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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