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Immunocytochemical localization of pigment-dispersing hormone (PDH) and its coexistence with FMRFamide-immunoreactive material in the eyestalks of the decapod crustaceans Carcinus maenas and Orconectes limosus


By use of a new antiserum, raised against synthetic pigment-dispersing hormone (PDH) from Uca pugilator, immunoreactive structures were studied at the light-microscopic level in the eyestalk ganglia of Carcinus maenas and Orconectes limosus. PDH-reactivity was mainly found in two types of neurons that were located between the medulla interna (MI) and the medulla terminalis (MT) in both species. Several additional perikarya were located in the distal part of the MI in O. limosus. In C. maenas, two to three PDH-positive perikarya were found in the region of the X-organ (XO) in the MT. Processes from single and clustered cells could be traced into all medullae of the eyestalk. Axons from the immunoreactive perikarya running between MI and MT form a larger tract that traverses the MT. Fibers from this tract give rise to extensive arborizations and plexuses throughout the proximal MT. A plexus containing very fine fibers is located at the surface of the MT in a position distal to the XO-area of C. maenas only. The proximal plexus also receives PDH-positive fibers through the optic nerve. PDH-perikarya in the cerebral ganglion may also project into the more distal regions of the eyestalk. Distal projections of the perikarya between the MI and MT consist of several branches. Most of these are directed toward the MI and ME (medulla externa) wherein they form highly organized, layered plexuses. One branch was traced into the principal neurohemal organ, the sinus gland (SG). In the SG, the tract gives off arborizations and neurosecretory terminals. It then proceeds in a proximal direction out of the SG, adjacent to the MT. Its further course could not be elucidated. The lamina ganglionaris (LG) receives PDH-fibers from the ME and fine processes from small perikarya located in close association with the LG in the distal part of the first optic chiasma. The architecture of PDH-positive elements was similar in both C. maenas and O. limosus. The distribution of these structures suggests that PDH is not only a neurohormone but may, in addition, have a role as a neurotransmitter or modulator. Immunostaining of successive sections with an FMRF-amide antiserum revealed co-localization of FMRFamideand PDH-immunoreactivities in most, but not all PDH-containing perikarya and fibers. The axonal branch leading to the SG and the SG proper were devoid of FMRFamide immunoreactivity.

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Correspondence to S. Mangerich.

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Mangerich, S., Keller, R., Dircksen, H. et al. Immunocytochemical localization of pigment-dispersing hormone (PDH) and its coexistence with FMRFamide-immunoreactive material in the eyestalks of the decapod crustaceans Carcinus maenas and Orconectes limosus . Cell Tissue Res. 250, 365–375 (1987).

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Key words

  • Pigment-dispersing hormone (crustaceans)
  • FMRFamide
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Neurosecretion
  • Crustaceans: Carcinus maenas, Orconectes limosus