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Movement without muscles
Date:5/12/2011

o show that the inner and outer surfaces and therefore the epithelial cells, so-called pinacozytes, cause the strong body contractions of the sponges. So finally, the Jena scientists could also settle a hundred year old debate about the cause of cellular contractions. Until now far spindle-shaped cells in the tissue of sponges as well as epithelial cells have been thought to be possible 'candidates' but now the Jena scientists could identify the true initiator of the contractions.

The new findings of the researchers from Jena University make new approaches about the evolutionary development of musculature possible. "The early evolution of muscles has not been fully understood so far. According to current scientific knowledge muscle cells seem to have surfaced from nowhere", Nickel says. "But surely there must have been evolutionary predecessor systems, that have been unknown until now." The sponge epithelial cells are now moving to the forefront in the evolutionary biologists' further research into the context of this. "There is a lot of evidence that the sponge epithelial cells and the muscle cells of all the other animals are going back to a common contractile cellular predecessor." In future this will be analysed by international co-operations, by also using genome and gene expression related data.


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Contact: Axel Burchardt
presse@uni-jena.de
49-364-193-1031
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena
Source:Eurekalert  

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