Recent studies have indicated that nitric oxide (NO)-induced cGMP synthesis is involved in different steps of neurogenesis in invertebrates. The development of putative NO synthetising elements was described earlier in the embryonic and juvenile pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, applying NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry (Serfózó et al., 1998). In the present study, we examined the distribution of NO synthase (NOS) during Lymnaea development by in situ hybridization for Lymnaea-NOS mRNA, histochemical, and immunohistochemical techniques for the NOS and NO-stimulated cGMP. Peripheral fibers projecting to the CNS and terminating in the ganglionic neuropils showed NOS immunoreactivity from 85% of embryonic development. At the same time, a fine dot-like, immunostaining indicated the presence of cGMP in the neuropil area. In the CNS, Lymnaea-NOS mRNA positive, as well as NOS and cGMP immunoreactive perikarya were detected first during postembryonic development; their number significantly increased from P3 juvenile stage. Some of the cell groups in the CNS containing NOS immunoreactive material also displayed Lymnaea-NOS mRNA hybridization signal and were cGMP-positive. However, in the subesophageal ganglia, the distribution of Lymnaea-NOS mRNA positive cell groups did not correspond to that of the NOS immunoreactive cells. Neurons revealing transient NOS and cGMP immunoreactivity, respectively, could also be detected in this part of the CNS. In most of the ganglia the number of Lymnaea-NOS mRNA containing and cGMP immunopositive neurons, respectively, exceeded that of the NOS immunoreactive cells from P4 juvenile stage. The localization of NADPH-diaphorase reaction also correlated well with that of the NOS immunoreactivity in the developing CNS. At the periphery, colocalization of Lymnaea-NOS mRNA signal, NOS and cGMP immunoreactivities were observed in the epithelial cells of the esophagus and mantle after hatching. The findings suggest the functional maturity of the NO/cGMP signal transduction pathway at both central and peripheral levels during the development of the snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. The differences in the localization of Lymnaea-NOS mRNA labeling and NOS immunoreactivity in the CNS and PNS can be explained by the existence of different NOS isoforms, posttranslational regulation of NOS, and/or some non-specific antibody labeling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology