The actinian nerve-net has been examined in the mesenteries and column of Metridium senile (L.) after staining with silver and with methylene blue. Modified staining methods are described. The synaptic nature of the junctions between bipolar nerve-cells, of their expanded terminations over the muscle-field, and of their contacts with the neurites of sense-cells is reviewed. The neurites always run in the space between the epithelium and underlying muscle. They follow the distribution of the main contractile systems, including the passage of circular fibres beneath the mesenteries. The richerinnervation of the retractor surface of a mesentery compared to the radial is correlated with the ability of this hypertrophied muscle to contract rapidly. The distribution of nerve-cells and sense-cells in the mesenteries and column is related to physiological evidence concerning the through-conduction pathways, facilitated and slow contractions, and other aspects of the behaviour of Metridium. It is concluded that although features such as reciprocal inhibition in the column are still unexplained, there is as yet no histological or physiological evidence for double innervation of the musclesin this anemone. The terminations of sensory neurites, on musclefibres or elsewhere, have not yet been seen in any actinian
The Nerve-Net of the Sea-Anemone Metridium Senile: the Mesenteries and the Column
E. J. BATHAM, C. F. A. PANTIN, E. A. ROBSON; The Nerve-Net of the Sea-Anemone Metridium Senile: the Mesenteries and the Column. J Cell Sci 1 December 1960; s3-101 (56): 487–510. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.s3-101.56.487
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