Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Periodical changes in Ca2+-ATPase and Mg2+-ATPase activity were observed cytochemically in the crayfish gastrolith epithelium during the molting cycle in relation to the calcium transport mechanism. The ATPase activity was demonstrated by a new one-step lead citrate method. The reaction products were mainly restricted to the matrix of type II cell mitochondria. The Ca2+-ATPase activity was intensely observed in two calcium moving stages, the small gastrolith period which indicates the beginning of gastrolith formation, and the aftermolt, when the calcified gastrolith has been dissolved in the stomach and then reabsorbed from the stomach epithelium into the newly formed soft exoskeleton through the blood. Although the intensity of reaction products of Mg2+-ATPase varied in each stage, the enzymatic activity was observed throughout all molting stages. Reaction products were observed in all mitochondria, basement membranes, apical cytoplasmic membranes, and in some lysosomes. In conclusion, periodical changes in the two types of ATPase activity were seen in the mitochondria of gastrolith epithelium during the molting cycle, but Ca2+-ATPase activity seemed to be more prominently synchronized to the calcium movement in the gastrolith epithelium than Mg2+-ATPase activity. These results provide the strong evidence that Ca2+-ATPase may act strongly in the calcium transport system of crayfish molting.
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