Anatomy of the Planarian Dugesia japonica I . The Muscular System Revealed by Antisera against Myosin Heavy Chains.

  • Orii H
  • Ito H
  • Watanabe K
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The planarian Dugesia japonica has two genes encoding myosin heavy chain, DjMHC-A and B (Kobayashi et al ., 1998). We produced antibodies specifically recognizing each myosin heavy chain protein using their carboxyl terminal regions expressed in E. coli as antigens. Immunohistochemical anal- yses of sections and whole-mount specimens revealed the detailed structure and distribution of each type of muscle fiber in the planarian. In general, the MHC-A muscle fibers were distributed beneath the epi- thelial layers, namely, they were observable in the pharynx, the mouth, the intestine, the eyes and the body wall. In the pharynx, only MHC-A muscle fibers were present. In contrast, the MHC-B muscle fibers were distributed in the mesenchyme as dorso-ventral and transverse muscles, and in the body wall. The body- wall muscles were composed of an outer layer of circular MHC-A muscles and inner longitudinal and inter- mediate diagonal MHC-B muscle layers. Thus, two types of muscle fibers were distinguished by their dis- tribution in the planarian.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Platyhelminthes
  • evolution
  • morphology
  • muscle
  • regeneration

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  • Hidefumi Orii

  • Hideki Ito

  • Kenji Watanabe

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