Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Zielinski, Barbara


anatomy, development, Lamprey, solitary chemosensory cell



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The sea lamprey is a basal lineage vertebrate and an invasive species in the Great Lakes. It possess a diffuse chemosensory system with microvillous solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs) located on papillae along the gill pore, oral disc and tail. The objectives of this study were to assess the abundance of SCCs across life stages, and to characterize the innervation and biochemical properties. At all three locations, SCCs were most abundant in the spawning stage compared to earlier life stages, suggesting a role during reproduction. Prominent calretinin and 5-HT labeling show homology to previously identified taste cells and to SCCs in other vertebrates. Labeling for phospholipase C (also seen in mammalian SCCs) suggests that chemosensory signal transduction occurs by an IP3 mediated cascade. This study suggests that SCC function is important during the end of the sea lamprey life cycle and shows homology between lamprey SCCs and more derived vertebrates.