Starfish spit out its stomach for eating, how can I stop it?

Picture from Pixabay.com

The way starfish eat is very strange-when they encounter delicacies such as mussels or oysters, they will spit their stomachs out of their mouths and digest the selected prey in vitro. Previous studies have shown that a kind of "love hormone" similar to humans"—The oxytocin molecule induces this behavior. However, scientists don’t know what the chemical substance is that makes the starfish stop this feeding behavior.

On September 7th, local time, the research team of Queen Mary University of London, UK used red star starfish as the object to study the effect of SK/cck neuropeptide, which inhibits the feeding behavior of humans and insects, on starfish. They found that thisWhen the hormone is injected into the starfish, the starfish’s stomach shrinks. Not only that, these starfish injected with SK/cck neuropeptides are reluctant to eat even when they face their favorite mussels.

Sea stars are a kind of echinoderms. Echinoderms occupy a unique position in evolution. They are the "missing link" between vertebrates and insects. This feature makes starfish and other echinoderms such as sea urchins becomeAn effective animal model that helps us understand the evolution of proteins.

One of the leaders of this study, Queen Mary’s postdoctoral research assistant Dr. Ana Tinoco said: “Sea stars have a unique way of eating, so we can use it to study chemicals that regulate the eating process. Although we already know SKHormones such as the /cck neuropeptide are important for eating, but I am still surprised by their effect on sea stars. You should know that sea stars, vertebrates, insects, etc. have completely different ways of eating. They lack brains and have unique shapes."

Maurice Elphick, professor of physiology and neuroscience at Queen Mary’s College, said: “Our findings provide new evidence that SK/cck neuropeptides have an evolutionary inhibitory effect on eating regulation. This new discovery may also helpNew drugs for the treatment of eating disorders have been developed. However, to achieve this goal, scientists need to carry out further research to determine the three-dimensional structure of receptor proteins that mediate the action of SK/cck neuropeptides in humans and other animals."

Science circle original

Compilation: Orange Review: Seamore Editor: Chen Zhihan

Journal source: "eLife"

Journal No.: 2050-084X

Original link: http://phys.org/news/2021-09-chemical-starfish-behavior.html

Copyright statement: This article was originally compiled by the Kejie platform. The Chinese content is for reference only. All content is subject to the original English version. Please indicate the source of the scientific and technological workers' home-Kejie App.


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