Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 262, Issue 1, pp 177–190

Distribution of FMRFamide-like immunoreactive neurons in the central nervous system of the snail Helix pomatia

  • K. Elekes
  • D. R. Nässel


The distribution of FMRFamide-like immunoreactive (FLI) neurons and their morphological characteristics have been investigated in the central nervous system of the snail, Helix pomatia L. Approximately phageal ganglion complex. More than 50% of the FLI neurons were located in the cerebral ganglia. The FLI neurons could be divided into four groups according to size: (i) giant neurons (over 100 μm); (ii) large neurons (80–100 μm); (iii) medium-sized neurons (40–70 μm); (iv) small neurons (12–30 μm). They were distributed i) in groups or clusters, typical of small neurons and ii) in solitary form or in groups comprising 2–3 cells, typical of large and giant neurons. Giant and large neurons revealed only limited arborizations in the neuropil, but rich branching towards and in the peripheral nerves. Some of the small neurons had extensive arborizations of varicose fibers in the neuropil. They may therefore play some role in integratory processes. Varicose FLI fibers were visualized in the cell body layer of the different ganglia, and in the neural sheath of both the ganglia and the peripheral nerves. We propose a multifunctional involvement of FLI neurons and FMRFamide-like neuropeptides in the Helix nervous system: (i) a synaptic or modulatory role in axo-axonic interactions in the neuropil; (ii) a direct influence on neuronal cell bodies in the cortical layer, (iii) innervation of different peripheral organs; and (iv) remote neurohormonal control of peripheral events through the neural sheath.

Key words

FMRFamide Neuropeptide Immunocytochemistry Nervous system, central Neurohormones Helix pomatia (Mollusca) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Elekes
    • 1
  • D. R. Nässel
    • 2
  1. 1.Balaton Limnological Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesTihanyHungary
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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