Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Behav Evol. 2005;65(2):127-42. Epub 2004 Dec 28.

Distribution of GABA-like immunoreactive cell bodies in the brains of two amphibians, Rana catesbeiana and Xenopus laevis.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.


The distribution of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is not well understood for non-mammalian vertebrates. We thus used immunocytochemistry to locate putative GABAergic cells in the brains of male bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) and South African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). GABA-immunoreactive cell bodies were broadly distributed throughout the brains of both species with similar general patterns. In both, the greatest numbers of GABA-positive cells were found in the olfactory bulb, thalamus, and optic tectum, but virtually no major brain region lacked GABAergic cells. Species differences were also apparent. The density of GABA-immunoreactive cells was substantially higher in many areas of the bullfrog brain, compared to Xenopus. Bullfrogs possessed extensive cell populations in the medial pallium, preoptic area, optic tectum, torus semicircularis and tegmentum but cells were fewer in these locations in Xenopus. In the bullfrog hindbrain, GABA-immunoreactive cell bodies were restricted to very narrow and distinct populations. In Xenopus, however, cells in a similar position were fewer and spread more extensively. The distribution of GABA cells in the brain of these two species supports the hypotheses that GABA is involved in control of olfaction, audition, vision and vocalization. However, differences in the distribution of GABA between the bullfrog and Xenopus suggest that the extent of the GABAergic influence might vary between species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center