Metamorphosis in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis is a very complex process which converts a swimming tadpole to an adult. The process involves reorganisation of the body plan and a remarkable regression of the tail, which is controlled by caspase-dependent apoptosis. However, the endogenous signals triggering apoptosis and metamorphosis are little explored. Herein, we report evidence that nitric oxide (NO) regulates tail regression in a dose-dependent manner, acting on caspase-dependent apoptosis. An increase or decrease of NO levels resulted in a delay or acceleration of tail resorption, without affecting subsequent juvenile development. A similar hastening effect was induced by suppression of cGMP-dependent NO signalling. Inhibition of NO production resulted in an increase in caspase-3-like activity with respect to untreated larvae. Detection of endogenously activated caspase-3 and NO revealed the existence of a spatial correlation between the diminution of the NO signal and caspase-3 activation during the last phases of tail regression. Real-time PCR during development, from early larva to early juveniles, showed that during all stages examined, NO synthase (NOS) is always more expressed than arginase and it reaches the maximum value at late larva, the stage immediately preceding tail resorption. The spatial expression pattern of NOS is very dynamic, moving rapidly along the body in very few hours, from the anterior part of the trunk to central nervous system (CNS), tail and new forming juvenile digestive organs. NO detection revealed free diffusion from the production sites to other cellular districts. Overall, the results of this study provide a new important link between NO signalling and apoptosis during metamorphosis in C. intestinalis and hint at novel roles for the NO signalling system in other developmental and metamorphosis-related events preceding and following tail resorption.(c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Regulatory roles of nitric oxide during larval development and metamorphosis in Ciona intestinalis.

D'ISCHIA, MARCO;
2007

Abstract

Metamorphosis in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis is a very complex process which converts a swimming tadpole to an adult. The process involves reorganisation of the body plan and a remarkable regression of the tail, which is controlled by caspase-dependent apoptosis. However, the endogenous signals triggering apoptosis and metamorphosis are little explored. Herein, we report evidence that nitric oxide (NO) regulates tail regression in a dose-dependent manner, acting on caspase-dependent apoptosis. An increase or decrease of NO levels resulted in a delay or acceleration of tail resorption, without affecting subsequent juvenile development. A similar hastening effect was induced by suppression of cGMP-dependent NO signalling. Inhibition of NO production resulted in an increase in caspase-3-like activity with respect to untreated larvae. Detection of endogenously activated caspase-3 and NO revealed the existence of a spatial correlation between the diminution of the NO signal and caspase-3 activation during the last phases of tail regression. Real-time PCR during development, from early larva to early juveniles, showed that during all stages examined, NO synthase (NOS) is always more expressed than arginase and it reaches the maximum value at late larva, the stage immediately preceding tail resorption. The spatial expression pattern of NOS is very dynamic, moving rapidly along the body in very few hours, from the anterior part of the trunk to central nervous system (CNS), tail and new forming juvenile digestive organs. NO detection revealed free diffusion from the production sites to other cellular districts. Overall, the results of this study provide a new important link between NO signalling and apoptosis during metamorphosis in C. intestinalis and hint at novel roles for the NO signalling system in other developmental and metamorphosis-related events preceding and following tail resorption.(c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/103978
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