Image_1_Distribution of Molecules Related to Neurotransmission in the Nervous System of the Mussel Crenomytilus grayanus.pdf
In bivalves neurotransmitters are involved in a variety of behaviors, but their diversity and distribution in the nervous system of these organisms remains somewhat unclear. Here, we first examined immunohistochemically the distributions of neurons containing different neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and related enzymes, as well as the proliferative status of neurons in the ganglia of the mussel Crenomytilus grayanus. H-Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFamide), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) were found to be expressed by neurons in all the ganglia, whereas serotonin (5-HT) neurons were found only in the cerebropleural and pedal, but not visceral ganglia. Moreover, incubation of living mussels in the presence of a 5-HT precursor (5-HTP) confirmed the absence of 5-HT-containing neurons from the visceral ganglia, indicating that the “serotonin center” of the visceral nervous system is located in the cerebral ganglia. Furthermore, immunostaining of molecules related to neurotransmission together with α-acetylated tubulin demonstrated that this cytoskeletal protein may be a potential pan-neuronal marker in bivalves. Adult mussel neurons do not proliferate, but a population of proliferating PCNA-LIP cells which do not express any of the neurotransmitters examined, perhaps glia cells, was detected in the ganglia. These novel findings suggest that the nervous system of bivalves contains a broad variety of signal molecules most likely involved in the regulation of different physiological and behavioral processes. In addition, proliferating cells may maintain and renew glial cells and neurons throughout the lives of bivalves.