Structure and Ultrastructure of Muscle Systems Within Grillotia Erinaceus Metacestodes (Cestoda: Trypanorhyncha)

Parasitology. 1986 Dec;93 ( Pt 3):587-97. doi: 10.1017/s0031182000081294.


Three distinct muscle types have been identified within the metacestode of Grillotia erinaceus. These consist of peripheral somatic myofibres plus two muscle systems directly involved in parasite attachment to the host, i.e. the tentacular bulb and its antagonistic retractor muscle. In common with other cestodes the somatic muscle consists of smooth-type fibres running longitudinally and obliquely to the main body axis. The retractor muscle consists of myofibres with centrally displaced nuclei. Upon contraction these latter fibres become spirally orientated causing the muscle to coil and lateral membranes to become elevated as spikes. Definitive nerve processes have not been identified within somatic or retractor muscle. Individual tentacular bulbs form the proximal terminus for a closed hydraulic system. Each bulb consists of overlapping, contrarotating myofibres which display obvious striations; the striations appear in alternate fibres to be in transverse and oblique planes. Adjacent myofibres are separated by approximately 0.5 micron, possess abundant mitochondria and have shallow t-tubules plus associated vesicles of sarcoplasmic reticulum at each Z line. Thick myofilaments are surrounded by 13, shared, thin myofilaments. Close neuronal control for the bulb muscle is suggested by the presence of obvious motor end-plates which contain both lucent and dense neurovesicles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cestoda / ultrastructure*
  • Fishes
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscles / ultrastructure