Mechanically and enzymatically dissociated cells from five anthozoan species were laid on seven substrates in vitro. Cells were taken from two sea anemones (Aiptasia sp. and Anemonia sulcata), a scleractinian coral (Stylophora pistillata) and two alcyonacean corals (Heteroxenia fuscescence and Nephthea sp). Substrates tested: glass (coverslips), plastic (uncoated tissue culture plates), type IV collagen, gelatin, fibronectin, mesoglea pieces from the scyphozoan jellyfish Rhopilema nomadica and acetic acid extract of jellyfish mesoglea. Except for the mesoglea pieces, cells did not respond to any one of the other substrates, retaining their rounded shape. Following contact with mesoglea pieces, cells attached and spread. Subsequently they migrated into the mesogleal matrix at a rate of 5-10 μm/h during the first 2-5 h. No difference was found between the behavior of cells from the five different cnidarian species.
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