The regeneration of the ventral nerve cord ganglion and peripheral tissues was investigated by radioimmunoassay and immunohistochemistry in the model animal, Eisenia fetida (Annelida, Oligochaeta). It is now well-established that pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neurotrophic factor, playing important roles in the development of the nervous system in vertebrate animals. Based on the apparent evolutionary conservation of PACAP and on the several common mechanisms of vertebrate and invertebrate nervous regeneration, the question was raised whether PACAP has any role in the regeneration of the earthworm nervous system. As a first step, we studied the distribution, concentration, and time-course of PACAP-like immunoreactivity during caudal regeneration of both lost segments and the ventral nerve cord ganglia in E. fetida. A strong upregulation of PACAP-like immunoreactivity was observed in most tissues following injury as determined by radioimmunoassay and immunohistochemistry. Significant increases in the concentration of PACAP-like compounds were found in the body wall, alimentary canal, and in coelomocytes. The most characteristic morphological feature was the accumulation of immunolabeled neoblasts in the injured tissues, especially in the ventral nerve cord ganglion that initiates and mediates regeneration processes. Our present results show that PACAP/PACAP-like peptides accumulate in the regenerating tissues of the earthworm, suggesting trophic functions of these compounds in earthworm tissues similarly to vertebrate species.
- Regeneration blastema
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience