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Mechanism for electrosilent Ca2+transport to cause calcification of spicules in sea urchin embryos

Experimental Cell Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0014-4827(85)80039-2


Embryos of the sea urchin, Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus, kept in sea water containing the calcium antagonists, diltiazem and verapamil, or an anion transport inhibitor, 4,4′-diisothiocyano-2,2′-disulfonic acid stilbene (DIDS), during a developmental period between the mesenchyme blastula and the pluteus corresponding stage, became abnormal plutei with poorly developed arms and quite small spicules. Treatment with ethacrynic acid and furosemide, inhibitors of chloride transport, during the same period of development yielded quasi-normal plutei with poor spicules and somewhat developed arms. In late gastrulae, the inhibitory effects of these calcium antagonists and DIDS on the uptake of 45Ca 2+ in whole embryos were as strong as those on 45Ca deposition in spicules, whereas the effects of chloride transport inhibitors on calcium deposition in the spicules were markedly stronger than on its uptake in whole embryos. Electrosilent uptake of Ca 2+ seems to be established mainly by coupled influx of chloride in the cells which mediate spicule calcification, and by concomitant influx of anions in the other cells. In swimming blastulae, 45Ca 2+ uptake was inhibited by calcium antagonists and DIDS, but not by chloride transport inhibitors. Ca 2+ uptake probably becomes coupled with chloride influx only in embryos in which spicule calcification occurs.

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