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Development of the nervous system of the pluteus larva of Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis

Summary

Development of the nervous system of the pluteus larva of Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis was investigated using indirect immunofluorescence with antibodies against dopamine, GABA, and serotonin, and glyoxylic acid-induced fluorescence of catecholamines. Serotonergic cells first appear in full gastrulae; dopaminergic and GABAergic cells are present in early four-arm plutei. The number of neurons and the complexity of the nervous system increases through development of the pluteus. In the pluteus the dopaminergic component of the nervous system includes a ganglion in the lower lip of the mouth and a pair of ganglia at the base of the post-oral arms which extend axons along the base of the circumoral ciliary band. The distribution of cells visualized by glyoxylic acid-induced fluorescence is similar to that of dopaminergic cells. GABAergic neurons occur in the upper lip and in the wall of the esophagus. Serotonergic neurons are present in the lower lip; the pre-oral hood contains an apical ganglion which extends axons along the base of the epidermis overlying the blastocoel. The dopaminergic and GABAergic components of the nervous system are associated with effectors involved in feeding and swimming. The serotonergic component is not associated with any apparent effectors but may have a role in metamorphosis.

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Correspondence to Brent W. Bisgrove.

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Bisgrove, B.W., Burke, R.D. Development of the nervous system of the pluteus larva of Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis . Cell Tissue Res. 248, 335–343 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00218200

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Key words

  • Pluteus
  • Nervous system
  • Development
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis