Detection of vitellogenin in a subpopulation of sea urchin coelomocytes

Nicolo' Parrinello, Vincenzo Arizza, Melchiorre Cervello, Lattuca, Vincenzo Arizza, Parrinello, Valeria Matranga

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Sea urchin vitellogenin is a high molecular weight glycoprotein, which is the precursor of the major yolk protein present in the unfertilized egg. Vitellogenin processing into the major yolk protein and its further enzymatic cleavage during sea urchin embryonic development, has been extensively described, and the adhesive properties of the processed molecule have been studied. The function of vitellogenin in the adult, where it has been found in the coelomic fluid of both male and female individuals, is still unknown, although its role on promoting the adhesion of embryonic cells has been shown. In this report we describe the detection of vitellogenin in lysates of whole circulating coelomocytes of both male and female sea urchins of the species Paracentrotus lividus. By metrizoic acid gradients we purified total coelomocytes into six subpopulations that were tested for the occurrence of the molecule using vitellogenin-specific polyclonal antibodies. We detected vitellogenin only in the coelomocyte subpopulation called colorless spherule cells, packed in kidney-shaped granules located around the nucleus. We also showed that coelomocytes respond to stress conditions by discharging vitellogenin into the medium. This result together with previous observations on the adhesive properties of the molecule suggest a role for vitellogenin in the clotting phenomenon occurring after host invasion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-319
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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