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Dev Comp Immunol. 2004 Mar;28(3):201-9.

Continuous development precludes radioprotection in a colonial ascidian.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Ocean View Boulevard, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA. dlaird@post.harvard.edu

Abstract

Colonial organisms provide a unique experimental system for stem cell biology. The colonial Urochordate Botryllus schlosseri reproduces sexually as well as by continuous asexual budding. Adjacent colonies with a shared histocompatibility allele undergo vascular fusion and establish a common blood circulation, performing natural transplantation. Fused colonies become chimeras, often with complete somatic replacement of the host cell genotype by the fused parabiont. We attempted to establish a radioprotection assay for the somatic stem cells that induce long-term chimerism in Botryllus. We demonstrate over a range of radiation doses that neither autologous nor allogeneic cell transplantation enhances survival of host colonies. This suggests that high mitotic index associated with continuous asexual development leads to radiosensitivity of organs and structures essential to survival during engraftment. We observe that radiation induces uncontrolled epithelial cell proliferation in abnormally terminated buds, suggesting that stem cells are not required for the initial stages of bud development.

PMID:
14642887
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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