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J Exp Biol. 2004 Jul;207(Pt 15):2565-75.

Dopaminergic and serotonergic innervation of cockroach salivary glands: distribution and morphology of synapses and release sites.

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Institut für Biochemie und Biologie, Zoophysiologie, Universität Potsdam, Postfach 601553, D-14415 Potsdam, Germany.


The paired salivary glands in the cockroach are composed of acini with ion-transporting peripheral P-cells and protein-secreting central C-cells, and a duct system for the modification of the primary saliva. Secretory activity is controlled by serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons, whose axons form a dense plexus on the glands. The spatial relationship of release sites for serotonin and dopamine to the various cell types was determined by anti-synapsin immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and electron microscopy. Every C-cell apparently has only serotonergic synapses on its surface. Serotonergic and dopaminergic fibres on the acini have their release zones at a distance of approximately 0.5 microm from the P-cells. Nerves between acinar lobules may serve as neurohaemal organs and contain abundant dopaminergic and few serotonergic release sites. Some dopaminergic and serotonergic release sites reside in the duct epithelium, the former throughout the duct system, the latter only in segments next to acini. These findings are consistent with the view that C-cells respond exclusively to serotonin, P-cells to serotonin and dopamine, and most duct cells only to dopamine. Moreover, the data suggest that C-cells are stimulated by serotonin released close to their surface, whereas P-cells and most duct cells are exposed to serotonin/dopamine liberated at some distance.

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