Adrenomedullin (AMD), proadrenomedullin N-terminal 20 peptide (PAMP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were studied for chemotaxis, chemotactic selection and G-actin/F-actin transition in Tetrahymena. The aim of the experiments was to study the effects of two different peptides encoded by the same gene compared to a peptide related to one of the two, but encoded by a different gene, at a low level of phylogeny. The positive, chemotactic effect of ADM and the strong negative, chemorepellent effect of PAMP suggest that in Tetrahymena, the two peptides elicit their chemotactic effects via different signalling mechanisms. The complexity of swimming behaviour modulated by the three peptides underlines that chemotaxis, chemokinesis and some characteristics of migratory behaviour (velocity, tortuosity) are working as a sub-population level complex functional unit. Chemotactic responsiveness to ADM and CGRP is short-term, in contrast to PAMP, which as a chemorepellent ligand, has the ability to select sub-populations with negative chemotactic responsiveness. The different effects of ADM and PAMP on the polymerization of actin networks show that the microtubular structure of cilia is more essential to chemotactic response than are transitions of the actin network. The results draw attention to the characteristic effects of vasoactive peptides at this low level of phylogeny.
Keywords: Adrenomedullin; CGRP; Migration; PAMP; Tetrahymena.