CYTOCHEMICAL DEMONSTRATION OF CHOLINERGIC, SEROTONINERGIC AND PEPTIDERGIC NERVE ELEMENTS IN GORGODERINA-VITELLILOBA (TREMATODA, DIGENEA)

D.M. Mckay, D W Halton, C.F. Johnston, Ian Fairweather, Christopher Shaw

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Abstract

Standard enzyme cytochemical and indirect immunocytochemical techniques have been used in conjunction with light and confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) to visualize cholinergic, serotoninergic and peptidergic nerve elements in whole-mount preparations of the amphibian urinary-bladder fluke, Gorgoderina vitelliloba. Cholinesterase (ChE) activity was localized in paired anterior ganglia, a connecting dorsal commissure and in the origins of the ventral nerve cords. Cholinergic ganglia were also evident in shelled embryos in the uterus. Serotonin-immunoreactivity (IR) was more extensive than ChE activity and was identified in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Serotoninergic nerve fibres were associated with the somatic musculature and female reproductive ducts. Antisera to nine mammalian peptides and one invertebrate (FMRFamide) peptide have been used to investigate the peptidergic nervous system in the parasite. Immunoreactivity was obtained to five peptides, namely pancreatic polypeptide (PP), peptide YY (PYY), neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP) and FMRFamide. Peptidergic nerve fibres were found to be more abundant than demonstrable cholinergic or serotoninergic nerve fibres. NPY-IR was identified only in the main components of the central nervous system. However, PP- and PYY-IR occurred in the anterior ganglia, dorsal commissure, main nerve cords and in numerous small varicose fibres that ramified throughout the worm. Additionally, PP-immunoreactive nerve fibres were found to innervate the musculature of the female reproductive tracts. Six sites of IR were found in the acetabulum, using antisera directed towards the C-terminal end of PP and PYY, and these matched with the distribution of six non-ciliated rosette-like papillae observed by scanning electron microscopy. SP- and FMRFamide-IR were identified in the CNS, and FMRFamide-immunopositive nerve fibres were also evident in association with the gonopore/cirrus region and with the terminal excretory pore. Results are discussed with respect to possible roles for each of the neurochemical types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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