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The Use of the Urn Cell Complexes of Sipunculus nudus for the Detection of the Presence of Mucus Stimulating Substances in the Serum of Rabbits with Mucoid Enteritis

Barry A. Silverman, Ronald W. Berninger, Richard C. Talamo and Frederik B. Bang
Biological Bulletin
Vol. 168, No. 3 (Jun., 1985), pp. 461-470
DOI: 10.2307/1541525
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1541525
Page Count: 10
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The Use of the Urn Cell Complexes of Sipunculus nudus for the Detection of the Presence of Mucus Stimulating Substances in the Serum of Rabbits with Mucoid Enteritis
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Abstract

Urn cell complexes (UCC) from the marine coelomate Sipunculus nudus were used to measure a progressive change in mucus stimulating substances (MSS) in the serum of rabbits with mucoid enteritis. The serum, but not plasma, of rabbits with mucoid enteritis induced significant hypersecretion in UCC. Neither diluted nor undiluted serum or plasma from control animals induced hypersecretion. The length of the mucus tail induced in the urn cells by serum of affected rabbits was directly related to the severity of the disease. When the MSS was partially purified by cold precipitation and gel filtration, its molecular weight was determined to be between 10,000 and 13,500 daltons. These studies establish the urn cell assay as a system in which abnormal secretion of mucus can be monitored and followed with non-invasive in vitro techniques.

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