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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2006 February;141(1):25-8

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

An analysis of the different nematocyst of the jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo by means of scanning electron microscopy

Kokelj F. 1, Avian M. 2, Martinelli E. 1, Sartini S. 2, Trevisan G. 1

1 Institute of Dermatology University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy 2 Department of Biology University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy


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Aim. Rhizostoma pulmo is a jellyfish very common along the Mediterranean Sea coasts, that can cause mild dermatitis to bathers. It has a simple structure with a dome-shaped umbrella and 8 oral arms. The tentacles contain the nematocysts in which the toxins are present. Till now the toxins of this jellyfish have not been completely identified but their hemolytic and cytotoxic activity has been reported.
Methods. In the present study we analyzed, by means of optic and scanning electron microscope , the nematocysts of some specimens of Rhizostoma pulmo from the Gulf of Trieste. Pieces of marginal lappets and mouth-arms were excised from freshly caught specimens and immersed, separately, in cold distilled water, left to macerate and then homogenized; the resulting suspension was filtered and centrifuged and then frozen.
Results. We identified 3 different types of nematocysts, isolated from Rhizostoma pulmo’ s marginal lobes and oral arms: olotrichous isorhiza haploneme, eterotrichous microbasic eurytele, atrichous isorhiza haploneme; the last two types are described for the first time in this paper. The microscopic analysis has made it possible to prove the presence of different concentrations of toxins in these 3 types.
Conclusion. These data will allow more focused chemical and toxicological studies in the future in order to improve our knowledge in this field.

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