Mapping of an extracellular pacemaker in avian egg integuments and its non-invasive monitoring
Sammanfattning: Several local bio-electrical rhythms occur in the integuments, i.e. the shell and shell membranes, of both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. The phenomenon has been found in more than 20 different species and is likely to be ubiquitous mithin eggs from all avian species. The activity increases in fertilized eggs after a feu days of incubation. This increase correlates well with available data on increased gas permeability. The fluctuations mere reduced by cytochalasin B and colchicine, and stimulated by pH-shocks. Pulse-shaped fluctuations in electrical impedance are attributed to movements in the fibrous membranes. Such movements, of the order of 0.5 pm, u/ere detected with optical methods. In rare eggs without fluctuations, the protein spectrum of the integuments was different. It is proposed that the absence of pacemaker activity could indicate an anomalous state in the producing animal, and one case of mesotheliom fitted into this category. Non-invasive electronic monitoring is possible with properly prepared electrode sites. The most likely molecular mechanism is electromechanical transduction of collagenous fibres. It is inferred that the bio-electrical fluctuations reflect the activity of a respiratory regulator.
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