Injection of an homogenate of identified neuron R15 into the hemocele of Aplysia produced a weight increase of 3-10% within 90 min. Control injections of several other identified neurons or of seawater, were ineffective. The weight increase occurred even when the animals were maintained in 5% hyperosmotic seawater. The activity of the R15 homogenate was retained after acidification to pH 2 and heating to 100 degrees C; but activity was destroyed by proteolytic digestion with Pronase. Dialysis in cellulose dialysis tubing resulted in a significant loss of aion on Sephadex G-50 (nominal exclusion limits 1,500-30,000 daltons), activity was present in the partially included volumes, but was absent in the totally excluded or totally included volumes. The data support the notion that R15 contains one or more hormones involved in ionic regulation or water balance. The results of bioassays of R15 extracts subjected to different treatments are consistent with the hypothesis that activity is due to one or more stable polypeptides of relatively low molecular weight.

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