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Biol Bull. 2006 Dec;211(3):275-85.

Peritrophic membrane of the penaeid shrimp Sicyonia ingentis: structure, formation, and permeability.

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Department of Biology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California 90041, USA.


Peritrophic membranes (PTMs) are secreted acellular layers that separate ingested materials from the gut epithelium in a variety of invertebrates. In insects and crustaceans, PTMs are produced in the midgut trunk (MGT, or intestine), but the MGT in decapod crustaceans, unlike that of insects, is not involved with digestion or absorption of food. We demonstrate that the PTM in the penaeid shrimp Sicyonia ingentis is similar to that in other crustaceans that have been studied and is primarily composed of chitin. The lectin WGA binds only to the PTM and glycocalyx along the microvilli of the midgut cells, which is consistent with the suggestion that the chitin is synthesized along the microvilli. The PTM is only permeable to inert particles smaller than 20 nm. We also describe the secretion of granules, which fill the apices of the epithelial cells, into the ectoperitrophic space. Although their function is not clear, they do not contribute to the PTM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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