Comparative distribution of urocortin- and CRF-like immunoreactivities in the nervous system of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris

Andrea Lubics, Dóra Reglodi, Márta Szelier, István Lengvári, Tamás Kozicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and urocortin (Ucn) are both members of the CRF neuropeptide family. The distribution of Ucn- and CRF-like immunoreactive (ir) structures in the central nervous system of several vertebrate species has been studied, but little is known about that in non-vertebrates. We used a highly specific polyclonal antibody against rat Ucn and CRF to determine and compare the distribution of Ucn- and CRF-like immunoreactivity in the earthworm nervous system. Several Ucn- and CRF-like ir perikarya were described in the cerebral ganglion, subesophageal and ventral cord ganglia. The majority of Ucn-like ir cells were found in the ventral ganglia, whereas CRF-like ir cells were most abundant in the cerebral ganglion. Scattered Ucn- and CRF-like ir varicose fiber terminals were seen in all areas of the earthworm central nervous system. Ucn-like ir cell bodies and fiber terminals were also demonstrated in the pharyngeal wall. No co-localization of Ucn- and CRF-like ir nervous structures were observed. This study provided morphological evidence that Ucn- and CRF-like neurosecretory products exist in the earthworm central nervous system. Furthermore, both the distribution and morphology of Ucn- and CRF-like ir structures were distinct, therefore, it can be hypothesized that these neuropeptides exert different neurendocrine functions in the earthworm nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2003



  • Annelid
  • CRF
  • Earthworm
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nervous system
  • Urocortin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this