Nervous system immunohistochemistry of the parasitic cnidarian Polypodium hydriforme at its free-living stage

Ekaterina V. Raikova, Olga I. Raikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Polypodium hydriforme, the only species in Polypodiozoa, which is currently considered a class of Cnidaria, and likely a sister group to Medusozoa (together with Myxozoa), is a cnidarian adapted to intracellular parasitism inside sturgeon oocytes. Free-living P. hydriforme lives on river bottoms; it walks on supporting tentacles and uses sensory tentacles to capture food and bring it to the mouth. The nervous system of freeliving P. hydriforme was studied by confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry using antibodies to FMRF-amide and alpha-tubulin combined with phalloidin-staining of F-actin fibres. A sensory FMRF-amide immunoreactive (IR) nerve net and an alpha-tubulin IR nerve net have been identified. The FMRF-amide IR nerve net underlies the epidermis along the tentacles and around the mouth; it consists of neurites emanating from epidermal sensory cells and basiepidermal ganglion cells, and it connects with cnidocytes. A deeper-lying alpha-tubulin IR nerve net occurs only in tentacles and looks like chains of different-sized beads crossing the mesoglea and entwining muscles. Anti-alpha-tubulin staining also reveals microtubules in muscle cells following the longitudinal muscle fibres or the thin circular F-actin fibres of the tentacles. Cnidocytes in the tentacles are embedded in a 'regular hexagonal non-neural network formed by the tubulin IR cytoskeleton of epidermal cells. Cnidocils of the cnidocytes around the mouth and in walking tentacles are identical, but those in sensory tentacles differ in length and width. The possible homology of the tubulin IR nerve net with motor nerve nets of cnidarians is discussed. The absence of a classic nerve ring around the mouth and the lack of specialised sense organs are considered to be plesiomorphic characters for Cnidaria. (C) 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Translated title of the contributionИммуногистохимия нервной системы паразитической книдарии Polypodium hydriforme на ее свободноживущей стадии
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


  • Cnidaria
  • Cnidocytes
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Nerve net
  • Polypodium hydriforme

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