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Cell Tissue Res. 1978 Mar 13;187(3):515-23.

An ultrastructural study of the dermal papulae of the starfish, Asterias rubens, with special reference to innervation of the muscles.


The ultrastructure of the dermal papulae of a starfish (Asterias rubens) is consistent with a respiratory function. The present study has shown no regions specialized for excretory mechanisms. The papulae consist of an outer ectodermal epithelium of sensory, support and gland cells and a small basiepithelial nerve plexus. A true basement membrane lies underneath the epithelium and regularly arranged longitudinal muscle bundles lie within the connective tissue. The coelomic cavity of the papulae is lined with ciliated endothelial cells, which overlie an irregular layer of circular muscles. A system of canals that are not lined by cells occurs at the base of the papulae with the circular muscles. The longitudinal and circular muscles show a different gross morphological arrangement and innervation. This paper proposes that there are "skeletal" and "visceral" types of smooth muscle in echinoderms and discusses this proposal at length.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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