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5-HT-receptive structures are localized in the interblastomere cleft of Paracеntrotus lividus early embryos

  • Yu. B. Shmukler (a1), Francesco Silvestre (a2) and Elisabetta Tosti (a2)


Local application of the agonists of serotonin receptors of third type 5-HTQ, SR57277A and quipazine into the interblastomere cleft of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryo during first cleavage division, evokes specific membrane currents, whereas application of these drugs out of contact area show currents of lower amplitude and longer latent period. At the same time 5-HT3-receptor agonist quipazine imitates interblastomere signal in half embryos, but corresponding antagonists prevent it. Present data develop the hypothesis of protosynapse, demonstrating that the distribution of membrane serotonin receptors is limited to the period of cleavage division and localized in the interblastomere contact area. A possible role of spatial–temporal restriction of receptors at the interblastomere contact area is discussed in relation to the subsequent embryo development.


Corresponding author

1All correspondence to: Elisabetta Tosti. Stazione Zoologica ‘Anton Dohrn’, Villa Comunale 1, 80121, Napoli, Italy. Tel: +39 81 5833288. Fax: +39 81 7641355. e-mail:


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