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J Comp Neurol. 2003 Dec 15;467(3):293-306.

Immunocytochemical evidence for nitric oxide- and carbon monoxide-producing neurons in the stomatogastric nervous system of the crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus.

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Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-1800, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO) have been shown to serve neuromodulatory roles in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Here, we use antibodies to their respective biosynthetic enzymes, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and heme oxygenase 2 (HO-2), to map the distribution of putative gas-producing neurons in the stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) of the crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus. In this species, NOS immunolabeling is found in the neuropil of the stomatogastric ganglion (STG). This staining originates from two immunopositive axons that project to the STG through the superior oesophageal and stomatogastric nerves, presumably from cell bodies located in the commissural ganglia (CoGs). HO-2 immunoreactivity is present in small diameter fibers and varicosities in the periphery of nerves located in the anterior portion of the STNS. This labeling originates from approximately 12 somata in each CoG. Transmission electron microscopy done on the nerves of the anterior STNS shows they contain a neuroendocrine plexus. Collectively, our results indicate that NO- and CO-producing neurons are likely to exist in the crayfish STNS. Moreover, these gases appear to be produced by distinct subsets of the neurons present there. The localization of NO to the STG neuropil suggests that it serves as a locally released modulator or is involved in the local release of other substances within this ganglion. The presence of CO in the neurohemal plexus of the anterior STNS suggests that it serves as a circulating hormone or is involved in the control of neuroendocrine release from this plexus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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