Temperature-dependent changes in the swimming behaviour of Tetrahymena pyriformis—NT1 and their interrelationships with electrophysiology and the state of membrane lipids Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The swimming velocity and the amplitude of the helical swimming path of T. pyriformis-NT1 cells grown at 20 degrees C (Tg 20 degrees C) and 38 degrees C (Tg 38 degrees C) were monitored between 0 and 40 degrees C in the presence and absence of electric fields. Within physiological limits the swimming velocity increased and the amplitude decreased as temperature was raised. The temperature profiles of these properties were not linear, and showed discontinuities at different temperatures for the different cultures. The break points in Arrhenius plots of the resting potential, regenerative spike magnitude, repolarization time, swimming velocity and swimming amplitude are tabulated and compared. The initial breakpoints upon cooling were clustered about the breakpoints in fluorescence polarization of D.P.H. in extracted phospholipids, and around the transition temperatures estimated from the literature for the pellicular membrane of these cells. The average of the initial breakpoints on cooling was 22.9 degrees C for Tg 38 degrees C cells and 13.7 degrees C for Tg 20 degrees C cells, a shift of 9.2 degrees C. Unlike Paramecium there is no depolarizing receptor potential in Tetrahymena upon warming. It is suggested that this may be the basis of a behavioural difference between Tetrahymena and Paramecium--namely that in Tetrahymena maximum swimming velocity occurs above growth temperature whereas in Paramecium the two points coincide. Swimming velocity and resting potential were correlated with membrane fluidity within physiological limits, but for other parameters the relationship with fluidity was more complex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

publication date

  • January 1985