Ultrastructure of the Coelomic Lining in the Podium of the Starfish Stylasterias forreri

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UltrastructuraI examination of the podium of the asteroid echinoderm Stylasteriasforreri reveals that cells of the coelomic epithelium and cells of the retractor muscle are, in fact, components of a single epithelium. The basal lamina of this unified epithelium adjoins the connective tissue layer of the podium. The principal epithelial cells in the coelomic lining are the flagellated adluminal cells and the myofilament-bearing retractor cells. Adluminal cells interdigitate extensively with each other and form zonular intermediate and septate junctions at their apicolateral surfaces. The adluminal cells emit processes which extend between the underlying retractor cells and terminate on the basal lamina of the epithelium. Retractor cells exhibit unregistered arrays of thick and thin myofilaments. The periphery of the retractor cell is characteristically thrown into keel-like folds which interdigitate with the processes of neighboring cells. Specialized intermediate junctions bind the retractor cells to each other and anchor the retractor cells to the basal lamina of the epithelium. The retractor cells are not surrounded by external laminae or connective tissue envelopes. It is concluded that the coelomic lining in the podium of S. forreri is a bipartite epithelium and that the retractor cells of the podium are myoepithelial in nature. There are no detectable communicating (gap) junctions between the epithelial cells of the coelomic lining.
Richard L. Wood and Michael J. Cavey "Ultrastructure of the Coelomic Lining in the Podium of the Starfish Stylasterias forreri" Cell Tissue Res (1981) 218:449-473