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Networks of linked radial muscles could influence dynamic skin patterning of squid chromatophores.

Authors
  • Senft, Stephen L1
  • Kuzirian, Alan M1
  • Hanlon, Roger T1
  • 1 Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of morphology
Publication Date
May 16, 2021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/jmor.21379
PMID: 33998033
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The visibility of cephalopod chromatophore organs is regulated dynamically by rosettes of obliquely striated radial muscles that dilate or relax the diameter of a central pigmented sacculus in 100-300 ms. Each of the several dozen muscles has a flared proximal end that adheres tightly to its pigmented sacculus and an extremely elongated distal end which branches into single fibrils that anchor into the dermis. This geometry provides ample opportunity for overlap of the many muscles from neighboring chromatophores. The temporal activity of these muscles has been believed to be patterned exclusively by monosynaptic projections from sets of efferent motor axons originating in the chromatophore lobes of the suboesophageal brain. Based on historical observations that distal radial muscles from some chromatophores appear to extend closely to muscles from other chromatophores, we asked whether radial muscles actually make specialized contacts. Using 3D electron microscopy of Doryteuthis pealeii mantle skin, we discovered tight putatively functional muscle-to-muscle contacts between radial muscles from different chromatophores, including elaborate sets of axonal processes located adjacent to those myo-myo junctions. These detailed ultrastructural findings demonstrate auxiliary anatomical routes for radial muscle activation and suggest plausible mechanisms whereby local physical synchronization and axo-axonic processing in the periphery can contribute to chromatophore pattern dynamics such as "passing cloud." © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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