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Elife. 2017 Dec 4;6. pii: e26349. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26349.

Synaptic and peptidergic connectome of a neurosecretory center in the annelid brain.

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Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany.
Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.
Genetics and Biology of Cancers Unit, Institut Curie, INSERM U830, Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University, Paris, France.


Neurosecretory centers in animal brains use peptidergic signaling to influence physiology and behavior. Understanding neurosecretory center function requires mapping cell types, synapses, and peptidergic networks. Here we use transmission electron microscopy and gene expression mapping to analyze the synaptic and peptidergic connectome of an entire neurosecretory center. We reconstructed 78 neurosecretory neurons and mapped their synaptic connectivity in the brain of larval Platynereis dumerilii, a marine annelid. These neurons form an anterior neurosecretory center expressing many neuropeptides, including hypothalamic peptide orthologs and their receptors. Analysis of peptide-receptor pairs in spatially mapped single-cell transcriptome data revealed sparsely connected networks linking specific neuronal subsets. We experimentally analyzed one peptide-receptor pair and found that a neuropeptide can couple neurosecretory and synaptic brain signaling. Our study uncovered extensive networks of peptidergic signaling within a neurosecretory center and its connection to the synaptic brain.


GPCR; P. dumerilii; Platynereis dumerilii; apical organ; connectomics; hypothalamus; marine larva; neuropeptide; neuroscience; neurosecretion

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