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J Comp Neurol. 2004 Sep 13;477(2):202-19.

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-like immunoreactivity in the brain of Sepia and Octopus.

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Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Sannio, 82100 Benevento, Italy.


Ionotropic glutamate receptors have been subdivided into N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and AMPA/kainate classes. NMDA receptor subunit 2A and 2B immunoreactivity is shown to be present in specific regions of the central nervous system (CNS) of the cephalopod molluscs Sepia officinalis and Octopus vulgaris. An antibody that recognizes both mammalian NMDAR2A and NMDAR2B subunits equally was used. SDS-PAGE/Western blot analysis performed on membrane proteins revealed an immunoreactive band at 170 kDa for both species. Immunoreactive bands from both Octopus and Sepia brains disappeared when the antibody was preabsorbed with membrane proteins from rat hippocampus or from their own brains. The same antibody was then used for immunohistochemical staining of serial sections of the CNS to reveal localized specific staining of cell bodies and fibers in several lobes of the brain. Staining was found in lower motor centers, in some higher motor centers, in learning centers, and in the optic lobes. Immunopositivity was also found in the areas of brain that control the activity of the optic gland, a gonadotropic endocrine gland. These findings suggest that glutamate, via NMDA receptors, may be involved as a signaling molecule in motor, learning, visual, and olfactory systems in the cephalopod brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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