Distribution of tyrosine-hydroxylase-immunoreactive and dopamine-immunoreactive neurons in the central nervous system of the snail Helix pomatia

L. Hernádi, S. Juhos, K. Elekes

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The distribution and characterization of dopamine-containing neurons are described in the different ganglia of the central nervous system of Helix on the basis of the distribution of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (TH-ir) and dopamine immunoreactive (DA-ir) neurons. Both TH-ir and DA-ir cell bodies of small diameter (10-25 μm) can be observed in the buccal, cerebral and pedal ganglia, dominantly on their ventral surface, and concentrated in small groups close to the origin of the peripheral nerves. The viscero-parietal-pleural ganglion complex is free of immunoreactive cell bodies but contains a dense fiber system. The largest number of TH-ir and DA-ir neurons can be detected in the pedal, and cerebral ganglia. The average number of TH-ir and DA-ir neurons significantly differs but all the identifiable groups of TH-ir neurons also show DA-immunoreactivity. Therefore, we consider the TH-ir neurons in those groups as being DA-containing neurons. The amounts of DA in the different ganglia assayed by high performance liquid chromatography correspond to the distribution and number of TH-ir and DA-ir neurons in the different ganglia. The axon processes of the labeled small-diameter neurons send thin proximal branches toward the cell body layer but only rarely surround cell bodics, whereas distally they give off numerous branches in the neuropil and then leave the ganglion through the peripheral nerves. In the cerebral ganglia, the analysis of the TH-ir pathways indicates that the largest groups of labeled neurons send their processes through the peripheral nerves in a topographic order. These results furnish morphological evidence that DA-containing neurons of Helix pomatia have both central and peripheral roles in neuronal regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-513
Number of pages11
JournalCell And Tissue Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1993



  • Catecholamines
  • Dopamine
  • Helix pomatia (Mollusca)
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Nervous system, central
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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