Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 277, Issue 2, pp 279–287 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical investigation of neuropeptides in the central nervous system of the amphioxus, Branchiostoma belcheri

  • Haruko Uemura
  • Yoko Tezuka
  • Chifumi Hasegawa
  • Hideshi Kobayashi


The immunohistochemical localization of nine different neuropeptides was studied in the central nervous system of the amphioxus, Branchiostoma belcheri. In the brain, perikarya immunoreactive for urotensin I and FMRFamide were localized in the vicinity of the central canal. One of the processes of each of these perikarya was found to cross the dorso ventral slit-like lumen of the central canal. Oxytocin-immunoreactive short fibers, but not perikarya, were detected in the ventral part of the brain. Perikarya immunoreactive for arginine vasopressin/vasotocin, oxytocin and FMRFamide were widely distributed in the spinal cord. Arginine vasopressin/vasotocin-immunoreactive fibers often made contacts with Rohde cell axons. Angiotensin II-immunoreactive perikarya were observed in the posterior half of the spinal cord, and urotensin I-immunoreactive perikarya were found in the caudal region of the spinal cord. Cholecystokinin/gastrin-immunoreactive fibers, but not perikarya, were detected in the spinal cord; some extended as far as the ependymal layer of the cerebral ventricle. No colocalization of the peptides examined was observed. No immunoreactivity for atrial and brain natriuretic peptides nor for urotensin II was detected. The present study indicates that there are at least six separate neuronal systems that contain different peptides, respectively, in the central nervous system of the amphioxus. Their functions remain to be determined.

Key words

Central nervous system Neuropeptides Immunohistochemistry Amphioxus, Branchiostoma belcheri (Cephalochorda) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haruko Uemura
    • 1
  • Yoko Tezuka
    • 1
  • Chifumi Hasegawa
    • 2
  • Hideshi Kobayashi
    • 2
  1. 1.Biological LaboratoryKanagawa Dental CollegeYokosukaJapan
  2. 2.Research LaboratoryZenyaku Kogyo Co. Ltd.TokyoJapan

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