Tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates, possess a mechanoreceptor organ, the coronal organ, which is considered the best candidate to address the controversial issue of vertebrate hair cell evolution. The organ, located at the base of the oral siphon, controls the flow of seawater into the organism and can drive the "squirting" reaction, i.e., the rapid body muscle contraction used to eject dangerous particles during filtration. Coronal sensory cells are secondary mechanoreceptors and share morphological, developmental, and molecular traits with vertebrate hair cells. In the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri, we described coronal organ differentiation during asexual development. Moreover, we showed that the ototoxic aminoglycoside gentamicin caused morphological and mechanosensorial impairment in coronal cells. Finally, fenofibrate had a strong protective effect on coronal sensory cells due to gentamicin-induced toxicity, as occurs in vertebrate hair cells. Our results reinforce the hypothesis of homology between vertebrate hair cells and tunicate coronal sensory cells.
Research. Development. Production.
We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry with solutions and services for research, biotechnology development and production, and pharmaceutical drug therapy development and production.