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Cell Tissue Res. 2010 Mar;339(3):649-53. doi: 10.1007/s00441-009-0909-4.

Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide type 1 (PAC1) receptor is expressed during embryonic development of the earthworm.

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Department of General Zoology, University of Pécs, Hungary.


Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP)-like molecules have been shown to be present in cocoon albumin and in Eisenia fetida embryos at an early developmental stage (E1) by immunocytochemistry and radioimmunoassay. Here, we focus on detecting the stage at which PAC1 receptor (PAC1R)-like immunoreactivity first appears in germinal layers and structures, e.g., various parts of the central nervous system (CNS), in developing earthworm embryos. PAC1R-like immunoreactivity was revealed by Western blot and Far Western blot as early as the E2 developmental stage, occurring in the ectoderm and later in specific neurons of the developing CNS. Labeled CNS neurons were first seen in the supraesophageal ganglion (brain) and subsequently in the subesophageal and ventral nerve cord ganglia. Ultrastructurally, PAC1Rs were located mainly on plasma membranes and intracellular membranes, especially on cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum. Therefore, PACAP-like compounds probably influence the differentiation of germinal layers (at least the ectoderm) and of some neurons and might act as signaling molecules during earthworm embryonic development.

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