The localization and distribution of cholinergic, serotoninergic and peptidergic nerve elements in the proteocephalidean tapeworm, Proteocephalus pollanicola, have been investigated by enzyme histochemistry, and by an indirect immunofluorescence technique interfaced with confocal scanning laser microscopy. Cholinesterase (ChE) activity was localized in the major components of the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), including the innervation of the reproductive structures of the worm. Serotoninergic (5-HT) nerves were found in the paired cerebral ganglia, transverse commissure and in the 10 longitudinal nerve cords. Antisera to 17 mammalian regulatory peptides and the invertebrate peptide FMRFamide have been used to explore the peptidergic nervous system of the worm. The most extensive immunostaining occurred with antisera raised to members of the neuropeptide Y superfamily, namely neuropeptide Y (NPY), peptide YY (PYY) and pancreatic polypeptide (PP). In all cases, intense immunoreactivity was found in numerous cell bodies and fibres of both the CNS and PNS, including the innervation of the reproductive apparatus. FMRFamide antisera stained the same structures to a comparable degree as those raised to the NPY superfamily. Cholinergic and peptidergic elements were much more prevalent within the CNS, while the serotoninergic nerve fibres tended to dominate in the PNS. The overlap obtained in staining patterns for the peptidergic and cholinergic components suggests that there may be a certain amount of co-localization of peptides with small-molecule transmitter substances in the same neurone. Weak staining for the tachykinin, substance P and for calcitonin gene-related peptide(CGRP) was confined to the major longitudinal nerve cords.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal for Parasitology|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|