Granulocytes of sea anemone Actinia equina (Linnaeus, 1758) body fluid contain and release cytolysins forming plaques of lysis
Keywords:cytolysin, Actinia equina, granulocytes, plaque of lysis, sphingomyelin
The Cnidaria phylum includes organisms that are among the most poisonous animals. The exact
composition of cnidarian bioactive molecules is not known in detail, but little is known on the cells that produce the toxins. Here we have shown that the presence of cytolysins is not exclusive of nematocysts. A plaque-forming assay was carried out with cell populations extracted from the percoled body fluid showed for the first time that anthozoan granulocytes are able to form plaque of lysis. We have partitioned the total population of free cells into three distinct discrete bands by discontinuous Percoll gradient, and we have identified six small different types cells: morular granulocytes; cells with large or small peripherical granules, granulocytes with irregular shape containing blue and red granules, cells showing one fine red granule of uniform size and, finally, cells with elongated shape and small dispersed granules. Cell lysate of each cellular band resulted cytolytic toward different erythrocytes types. SDS page analysis of the lysate cell fraction showed a predominant of 20 kDa that corresponds to the weight of the cytolytic equinatoxin. The nature of equinatoxins-related activity was demonstrated by inhibition experiments using bovine sphingomyelin.