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Microsc Res Tech. 2006 Aug;69(8):636-41.

Distribution of FMRFamide-like immunoreactivity in the alimentary tract and hindgut ganglia of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite (Cirripedia, Crustacea).

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Dipartimento per lo studio del Territorio e delle sue Risorse (DIPTERIS), Università di Genova, Corso Europa 26, I-16132, Italy.


In this study, the presence and distribution of FMRFamide-like immunoreactivity in the alimentary tract of barnacle Balanus amphitrite were investigated. A net of nerve fibers strongly immunoreactive to FMRFamide-like molecules was localized in the posterior midgut and hindgut. Positive varicose nerve terminals were also localized close to the circular muscle cells and, in the hindgut, close to the radial muscular fibers. Besides this nerve fibers network, one pair of contralateral ganglia was localized in the hindgut, each of them constituted by two strongly FMRFamide-labeled neurons and one nonlabeled neuron. Their immunoreactive axons directed toward the hindgut and posterior midgut suggest an involvement of FMRFamide-like substances in adult B. amphitrite gut motility. The hindgut associated ganglia of barnacles seem to correspond to the terminal abdominal ganglia of the other crustaceans. Since they are the only residual gut ganglia in the barnacle's reduced nervous system, we can hypothesize that gut motility needs a nervous system regulation partially independent of the central nervous system.

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