Three-dimensional organization of the brain and distribution of serotonin in the brain and ovary, and its effects on ovarian steroidogenesis in the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii

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The giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, is an economically important crustacean species which has also been extensively used as a model in neuroscience research. The crustacean central nervous system is a highly complex structure, especially the brain. However, little information is available on the brain structure, especially the three-dimensional organization. In this study, we demonstrated the three-dimensional structure and histology of the brain of M. rosenbergii together with the distribution of serotonin (5-HT) in the brain and ovary as well as its effects on ovarian steroidogenesis. The brain of M. rosenbergii consists of three parts: protocerebrum, deutocerebrum and tritocerebrum. Histologically, protocerebrum comprises of neuronal clusters 6–8 and prominent anterior and posterior medial protocerebral neuropils (AMPN/PMPN). The protocerebrum is connected posteriorly to the deutocerebrum which consists of neuronal clusters 9–13, medial antenna I neuropil, a paired lateral antenna I neuropils and olfactory neuropils (ON). Tritocerebrum comprises of neuronal clusters 14–17 with prominent pairs of antenna II (AnN), tegumentary and columnar neuropils (CN). All neuronal clusters are paired structures except numbers 7, 13 and 17 which are single clusters located at the median zone. These neuronal clusters and neuropils are clearly shown in three-dimensional structure of the brain. 5-HT immunoreactivity (-ir) was mostly detected in the medium-sized neurons and neuronal fibers of clusters 6/7, 8, 9, 10 and 14/15 and in many neuropils of the brain including anterior/posterior medial protocerebral neuropils (AMPN/PMPN), protocerebral tract, protocerebral bridge, central body, olfactory neuropil (ON), antennal II neuropil (Ann) and columnar neuropil (CN). In the ovary, the 5-HT-ir was light in the oocyte step 1(Oc1) and very intense in Oc2–Oc4. Using an in vitro assay of an explant of mature ovary, it was shown that 5-HT was able to enhance ovarian estradiol-17β (E2) and progesterone (P4) secretions. We suggest that 5-HT is specifically localized in specific brain areas and ovary of this prawn and it plays a pivotal role in ovarian maturation via the induction of female sex steroid secretions, in turn these steroids may enhance vitellogenesis resulting in oocyte growth and maturation.

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This work is financially supported by a Distinguished Research Professor Grant (co-funded by the Thailand Research Fund, The Commission on Higher Education and Mahidol University) to Prof. Prasert Sobhon and Prof. Prapee Sretarugsa; Scholarship from M.D., Ph.D. Program, Mahidol University to Boworn Soonthornsumrith.

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Correspondence to Prapee Sretarugsa.

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Soonthornsumrith, B., Saetan, J., Kruangkum, T. et al. Three-dimensional organization of the brain and distribution of serotonin in the brain and ovary, and its effects on ovarian steroidogenesis in the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii. Invert Neurosci 18, 5 (2018).

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  • Brain
  • Three-dimensional organization
  • Histology
  • Serotonin
  • Macrobrachium rosenbergii
  • Steroid release