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Regionalization of cell types in silk glands of Larinioides sclopetarius suggest that spider silk fibers are complex layered structures
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Anat Physiol & Biochem, Uppsala, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0728-4822
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Neurooncology and neurodegeneration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2756-4995
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Anat Physiol & Biochem, Uppsala, Sweden.;Karolinska Inst, Dept Biosci & Nutr, Neo, Huddinge, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1872-1207
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Anat Physiol & Biochem, Uppsala, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7717-4370
2023 (English)In: Scientific Reports, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 13, article id 22273Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to produce artificial silk fibers with properties that match the native spider silk we likely need to closely mimic the spinning process as well as fiber architecture and composition. To increase our understanding of the structure and function of the different silk glands of the orb weaver Larinioides sclopetarius, we used resin sections for detailed morphology, paraffin embedded sections for a variety of different histological stainings, and a histochemical method for localization of carbonic anhydrase activity. Our results show that all silk glands, except the tubuliform glands, are composed of two or more columnar epithelial cell types, some of which have not been described previously. We observed distinct regionalization of the cell types indicating sequential addition of secretory products during silk formation. This means that the major ampullate, minor ampullate, aciniform type II, and piriform silk fibers most likely are layered and that each layer has a specific composition. Furthermore, a substance that stains positive for polysaccharides may be added to the silk in all glands except in the type I aciniform glands. Active carbonic anhydrase was found in all silk glands and/or ducts except in the type I aciniform and tubuliform glands, with the strongest staining in aggregate glands and their ductal nodules. Carbonic anhydrase plays an important role in the generation of a pH gradient in the major ampullate glands, and our results suggest that some other glands may also harbor pH gradients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2023. Vol. 13, article id 22273
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-524297DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-49587-zISI: 001125340600062PubMedID: 38097700OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-524297DiVA, id: diva2:1842302
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 815357Olle Engkvists stiftelse, 207-0375Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019-00427Available from: 2024-03-04 Created: 2024-03-04 Last updated: 2024-03-04Bibliographically approved

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Westermark, Per

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