Histological and ultrastructural studies of the basal disk of Hydra

III. The gastrodermis and the mesoglea

Summary

The gastrodermis and mesoglea of the basal disk of Hydra were investigated to conclude a three-part series of papers. The gastrodermis is composed of digestive cells (most predominant cell type), mucous and nerve cells (both immature and fully differentiated). The principal function of the digestive cells appears to be storage of protein, lipid and glycogen reserves which are utilized by neighboring cells. Mucous cells apparently use some of the reserves to synthesize their secretions which lubricate cells and prevent cell damage during egestion of waste through the aboral pore. The function of the gastrodermal nerve cells is uncertain.

The mesoglea of the basal disk, contains the same structural components as seen in other regions of the polyp. It is reasonable to assume that it maintains the same function of cell adhesion and migration. As the mesoglea converges on the aboral pore, it loses its structural integrity and cells are sloughed off the column.

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Correspondence to Prof. Lowell E. Davis.

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This investigation was supported by The National Science Foundation, Grant Number GB-27395.

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Davis, L.E. Histological and ultrastructural studies of the basal disk of Hydra . Cell Tissue Res. 162, 107–118 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00223266

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Key words

  • Basal disk
  • Gastrodermis
  • Mesoglea
  • Hydra
  • Electron microscopy