Reactivated Triton-Extracted Models of Paramecium: Modification of Ciliary Movement by Calcium Ions

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Science  05 May 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4034, pp. 523-524
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4034.523


Triton-extracted models of Paramecium were reactivated to swim in solutions of adenosine triphosphate and magnesium ions. The cilia beat in the normal direction (toward the rear) when the calcium ion concentration was less than 10-6M, and they beat in the "reversed" direction (toward the front) when calcium ion concentration was raised above 10-6M. These results support the proposal that ciliary reversal, hence backward swimming, of live paramecia is mediated by an increased cytoplasmic calcium concentration around the ciliary system by calcium-dependent membrane responses to external stimuli.

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