Are glial cells of the Digenea (Platyhelminthes) muscle cells?

  • Larisa G. PoddubnayaEmail author
  • David I. Gibson
Fish Parasitology - Short Communication


Muscle cells of a digenean fish blood fluke, Aporocotyle simplex, aggregate along the periphery of the cerebral ganglia. Solitary myocytons and sarcoplasmic processes with muscle fibres give rise to long, narrow lamellate projections, which are visible along the periphery and within ganglia. These ultrastructural observations suggest a switching of glial functions to muscle cells and represent additional evidence of the phylogenetic lability of glial cells in bilaterians.


Basal taxon Ultrastructure Aporocotyle Nervous system  Glia-like cells 



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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.I. D. Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland WatersRussian Academy of SciencesBorokRussia
  2. 2.Department of Life SciencesNatural History MuseumLondonUK

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