L'embrione di riccio di mare come modello di studio dell'autofagia indotta da stress

Roberto Chiarelli, Maria Carmela Roccheri, Giovanni Morici, Maria Agnello

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


[automatically translated] The sea urchin embryos, Paracentrotus lividus, are able to activate different defense strategies in response to chemical stress / physical. We have recently shown that cadmium, a heavy metal highly embryotoxic, induces the synthesis of HSPs specifications and / or the triggering of apoptotic processes, gradually accumulates in embryonic cells. In the present work, we show that the P. lividus embryos are able to activate autophagy as an additional mechanism to safeguard the development program, due to exposure to cytotoxic doses of CdCl2. Autophagy is a molecular mechanism that can stimulate the survival, through the degradation and recycling of macromolecules and organelles or, alternatively, the cell death. Furthermore, it was reported that autophagy plays a crucial role during embryogenesis of some organisms. Therefore, multipotent cells of echinoderms embryos may represent a suitable experimental model for the study of this process. Several methodologies, reported below, have been used to verify the induction of autophagic processes in embryos exposed to cadmium. By vital essays with Neutral Red, they have been highlighted high levels of acid droplets organelles (AVOS), likely autolisosomi. Similar results were obtained with vital assays with Acridine Orange and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM); the latter made it possible to detect specific spatial arrangements in the location of AVOS. The induction of autophagy has been confirmed by the use of bafilomycin A1, a specific inhibitor of this process. These data were enhanced by analyzing the levels of LC3 protein, safe autophagy markers, by Western blotting and immunofluorescence in situ. The results of these investigations showed that the P. lividus embryos are able to activate significant autophagic processes in cadmium stress conditions, in a temporal phase that precedes the massive apoptotic response. In addition, basal autophagic levels were highlighted during the physiological development. In conclusion it can be assumed that autophagy plays a crucial role in cell survival, in order to safeguard the development program or, alternatively,
Original languageItalian
Number of pages60
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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