The central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous systems of the cyclophyllidean tapeworm, Moniezia expansa, were examined for the presence of cholinergic, serotoninergic and peptidergic elements using enzyme cytochemical and immunocytochemical techniques in conjunction with light and confocal scanning laser microscopy. Cholinesterase activity and 5-hydroxytryptamine- and regulatory peptide-immunoreactivities (IRs) were localized to the nerve fibres and cell bodies of all of the major neuronal components in the CNS of the worm, including the cerebral ganglia and connecting commissure, the 10 longitudinal nerve cords and associated transverse ring commissures. Although each of the 3 systems appeared well developed and comprised a significant portion of the nervous system, the serotoninergic constituent was the most highly developed, consisting of a vast array of nerve fibres and cell bodies distributed throughout the strobila of the worm. A close association of cholinesterase reactivity and peptide-IRs was evident throughout the CNS, indicating the possible co-localization of acetylcholine and neuropeptides. Within the PNS, cholinergic activity and serotoninergic- and peptidergic-IRs occurred in the subtegumental network of nerve fibres and somatic musculature. Although all 3 neurochemical elements were present in the acetabula, they were found in different nerve fibres; only cholinergic and peptidergic cell bodies were found. The common genital opening, vagina and ootype regions of the reproductive system displayed a rich innervation of all 3 types of neuronal populations. Within the peptidergic system, immunostaining with antisera raised to the C-terminus of the neuropeptide Y superfamily of peptides and the invertebrate peptides, neuropeptide F (M. expansa) and FMRFamide was the most prevalent. Limited positive-IR for substance P and neurokinin A were also recorded in the CNS of the worm.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|