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Immuno-electron microscopy of formation, degradation and exocytosis of the ovulation neurohormone in Lymnaea stagnalis

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Summary

The cerebral caudodorsal cells (CDC) of the pulmonate snail Lymnaea stagnalis are involved in the control of egg laying and associated behaviour by releasing various peptides. One of these is the ovulation hormone (CDCH). The cellular dynamics of this peptide have been studied using an antiserum raised to a synthetic portion of CDCH comprising the 20–36 amino acid sequence. With the secondary antibody-immunogold technique, specific immunoreactivity was found in all CDC. Rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus showed very little reactivity as did secretory granules that were in the process of being budded off from the Golgi apparatus. However, secretory granules that were being discharged from the Golgi apparatus, were strongly reactive. Secretory granules within lysosomal structures revealed various degrees of immunoreactivity, indicating their graded breakdown. Large electrondense granules, formed by the Golgi apparatus and thought to be involved in intracellular degradation of secretory material, were only slightly reactive. In the axon terminals secretory granules released their contents into the haemolymph by the process of exocytosis. The exteriorized contents were in most cases clearly immunopositive.

The possibility has been discussed that CDCH is cleaved from its polypeptide precursor within secretory granules during granule discharge from the Golgi apparatus; subsequently, the mature secretory granules would be transported towards the neurohaemal axon terminals where they release CDCH into the haemolymph. Superfluous secretory material would be degraded by the lysosomal system including the large electron-dense granules.

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Correspondence to Dr. E. W. Roubos.

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Roubos, E.W., van de Ven, A.M.H. & van Minnen, J. Immuno-electron microscopy of formation, degradation and exocytosis of the ovulation neurohormone in Lymnaea stagnalis . Cell Tissue Res. 250, 441–448 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00219090

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Key words

  • Neuropeptide
  • Biosynthesis
  • Exocytosis
  • Crinophagy
  • Ultrastructural immunogold technique
  • Lymnaea stagnalis