Three-dimensional fine structure of fibroblasts and other mesodermally derived tissues in the dermis of adults of the Bahamas lancelet (Chordata, Cephalohordata), as seen by serial block-face scanning electron microscopy

Nicholas D. Holland*, Linda Z. Holland, Ildiko M. L. Somorjai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Tissues of adult cephalochordates include sparsely distributed fibroblasts. Previous work on these cells has left unsettled such questions as their developmental origin, range of functions, and even their overall shape. Here, we describe fibroblasts of a cephalochordate, the Bahamas lancelet, Asymmetron lucayanum, by serial block-face scanning electron microscopy to demonstrate their three-dimensional (3D) distribution and fine structure in a 0.56-mm length of the tail. The technique reveals in detail their position, abundance, and morphology. In the region studied, we found only 20 fibroblasts, well separated from one another. Each was strikingly stellate with long cytoplasmic processes rather similar to those of a vertebrate telocyte, a possibly fortuitous resemblance that is considered in the discussion section. In the cephalochordate dermis, the fibroblasts were never linked with one another, although they occasionally formed close associations of unknown significance with other cell types. The fibroblasts, in spite of their name, showed no signs of directly synthesizing fibrillar collagen. Instead, they appeared to be involved in the production of nonfibrous components of the extracellular matrix-both by the release of coarsely granular dense material and by secretion of more finely granular material by the local breakdown of their cytoplasmic processes. For context, the 3D structures of two other mesoderm-derived tissues (the midline mesoderm and the posteriormost somite) are also described for the region studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1298
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Morphology
Volume283
Issue number10
Early online date15 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Amphioxus
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Midline mesoderm
  • Posteriormost segment
  • Telocyte

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