Author(s): Littefield CL, Littefield CL
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Abstract In an attempt to isolate unipotent stem cells (progenitors to the nerve cells, nematocytes, gland cells, and gametes) from Hydra oligactis females, animals were treated with a drug (hydroxyurea, HU) that preferentially lowers or eliminates the interstitial stem cells, leaving the epithelial tissue intact. In this epithelial environment, interstitial cells remaining after treatment will proliferate and differentiate, permitting a long-term analysis of their developmental capabilities. Following treatment of females with HU, animals were isolated that contained interstitial cells that gave rise to eggs only. Two clones of animals containing these cells were propagated for several years and the growth and differentiation behavior of the interstitial cells examined in their asexually produced offspring. During this time, the cells displayed an extensive proliferative capacity (classifying them as stem cells) and remained restricted to egg differentiation. It is proposed that both the sperm- and the egg-restricted stem cells arise from a multipotent stem cell, which also gives rise to the somatic cells (see above), and that, in hydra, sex is ultimately determined by interactions between cells of the two germ cell lineages.
This article was published in Dev Biol
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access