Helix aspersa (Mollusca)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The distribution of neuropeptide F (NPF) immunoreactivity in the snail, Helix aspersa, has been demonstrated by immunocytochemistry using 2 regionspecific antisera. One, designated NPF3, was raised against a synthetic N-terminal fragment of Helix aspersa NPF; the other, designated PP221, was raised against the C-terminal hexapeptide amide of mammalian pancreatic polypeptide (PP) but cross-reacts fully with the analogous C-terminal region of Helix aspersa NPF. The distribution of NPF immunoreactivity has also been compared with that of FMRFamide using alternate serial sections of Helix aspersa ganglia. Results showed that NPF immunoreactivity was abundant and widespread in the central and peripheral nervous systems and the pattern of immunostaining obtained using both region-specific antisera was similar. Likewise, immunocytochemistry of neural tissues of a congeneric species, Helix pomatia, and 2 prosobranch gastropods, Buccinum undatum and Littorina littorea, produced similar staining patterns with both antisera. However, in the cephalopod mollusc, Loligo vulgaris, and the cestode, Moniezia expansa, positive immunostaining was only obtained with the C-terminal PP antiserum. Immunostaining of alternate serial sections of Helix aspersa ganglia with NPF3, and an antiserum raised to FMRFamide, showed that while a few neurones were immunoreactive with one antiserum only, in the majority, both immunoreactivities were co-localised. NPF thus appears to be an important neuropeptide of widespread distribution in Helix aspersa and the differential immunocytochemical staining obtained using the 2 region-specific antisera would suggest a high degree of primary structural conservation within the gastropod molluscs, but lack of conservation of the N-terminal region of the peptide in other invertebrate groups.
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