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Cell Tissue Res. 2003 Feb;311(2):259-66. Epub 2003 Jan 18.

Localization of serotonin and its possible role in early embryos of Tritonia diomedea(Mollusca: Nudibranchia).

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Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


A classical neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) was detected immunochemically using laser scanning microscopy at the early stages of Tritonia diomedea development. At the one- to eight-cell stages, immunolabeling suggested the presence of 5-HT in the cytoplasm close to the animal pole. At the morula and blastula stages, a group of micromeres at the animal pole showed immunoreactivity. At the gastrula stage no immunoreactive cells were detected, but they arose again at the early veliger stage. Antagonists of 5-HT(2) receptors, ritanserin and cyproheptadine, as well as lipophilic derivatives of dopamine blocked cleavage divisions or distorted their normal pattern. These effects were prevented by 5-HT and its highly lipophilic derivates, serotoninamides of polyenoic fatty acids, but not by the hydrophilic (quaternary) analog of 5-HT, 5-HTQ. The results confirm our earlier suggestion that endogenous 5-HT in pre-nervous embryos acts as a regulator of cleavage divisions in nudibranch molluscs.

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