The ultrastructure of nerve cells and the finestructural organization of synaptic contacts have been investigated in the intestinal nerve in the snail Helix pomatia. Three types of nerve cells, occurring singly or in groups, can be distinguished on the basis of the ultrastructure of their perikaryon and content of granules. The peripheral output of these nerve cells has been verified by retrograde CoCl2 and NiCl2 staining. Both axosomatic and axo-axonic specialized synaptic contacts occur in the intestinal nerve. Presynaptic elements of these synaptic contacts contain 100-120 nm granular vesicles or 120-200 nm neurosecretory-like granules. Following intracellular horseradish peroxidase (HRP) labelling of identified central neurons responsible for peripheral regulatory processes, several labelled axons running toward the periphery can be followed throughout the branches of the intestinal nerve. These labelled axon processes (either primary axon or small collaterals) form specialized synaptic contacts, inside the intestinal nerve, and are always in a postsynaptic position. The occurrence of peripheral axo-somatic and axo-axonic synapses provides a morphological basis for integrative processes taking place in the intestinal nerve (peripheral nervous system) of Helix pomatia.
- Helix pomatia
- Horseradish peroxidase technique
- Intestinal nerve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology