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Developmental expression of tryptophan hydroxylase gene in Ciona intestinalis

  • Roberta Pennati
  • Simona Candiani
  • Maira Biggiogero
  • Giuliana Zega
  • Silvia Groppelli
  • Diana Oliveri
  • Manuela Parodi
  • Fiorenza De Bernardi
  • Mario Pestarino
Short Communication

Abstract

To describe the serotonergic system in a tunicate larva, we cloned a gene encoding for tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin synthesis, in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and studied its expression pattern during development. Ci-TPH expression was found from tailbud stage in the precursor cells of the visceral ganglion and in the tail. In the larva, TPH-expressing neurons formed two clusters in the anterior central nervous system at the level of the visceral ganglion. Moreover, we found Ci-TPH expression at the level of the muscle cells of the tail and suggested that this localisation might be at the level of neuro-muscolar junctions. Moreover, we discussed the involvement of serotonin in the control of larval locomotory activity.

Keywords

Serotonin Ascidian Nervous system Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) Ciona intestinalis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the MIUR-PRIN 2004 grant, prot. 2004057732. The authors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments, which helped to improve the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Pennati
    • 1
  • Simona Candiani
    • 2
  • Maira Biggiogero
    • 1
  • Giuliana Zega
    • 1
  • Silvia Groppelli
    • 1
  • Diana Oliveri
    • 2
  • Manuela Parodi
    • 2
  • Fiorenza De Bernardi
    • 1
  • Mario Pestarino
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly

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