Osmotic stimulation activates both estivated and inactivated specimens of Helix pomatia and increases their central arousal. High-pressure liquid chromatography has shown that, during activation, the level of both serotonin and dopamine decreases in the central nervous system (CNS) but increases in the foot and heart, organs that are involved in the eversion of the body. In isolated CNS from activated animals, the firing frequency of the heart-modulator serotonergic (RPas) neurons is significantly higher than that in the CNS of estivated or inactivated animals. These neurons innervate both the heart and the anterior aorta. In semi-intact preparations, distilled water (an osmotic stimulus) applied to the mantle collar increases their firing frequency, whereas tactile stimulation evokes their inhibition. Extracellularly applied monoamines mimic the effect of peripheral stimuli: serotonin (0.1-10 μM) increases the activity of the RPas neurons, whereas dopamine (0.1-10 μM) inhibits their activity. Tyrosine-hydroxylase immunocytochemistry and retrograde neurobiotin tracing have revealed similar bipolar receptor cells in the mantle collar and tail, organs that are exposed to environmental stimuli in estivated animals. Serotonin immunocytochemistry carried out on the same tissues does not visualize receptor cells but labels a dense network of fibers that appear to innervate neurobiotin-labeled receptor cells. The combination of neurobiotin-labeling of RPas neurons and immunolabeling suggests that RPas neurons receive direct dopaminergic inputs from receptor cells and serotonergic inputs from central serotonergic neurons, indicating that central serotonergic neurons are interconnected. Thus, the RPas neurons may belong to neuronal elements of the arousal system.
- Helix pomatia (Mollusca)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology