Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 337, Issue 2, pp 327–340 | Cite as

NO/cGMP signalling: L-citrulline and cGMP immunostaining in the central complex of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria

  • Theresa Siegl
  • Joachim Schachtner
  • Gay R. Holstein
  • Uwe Homberg
Regular Article

Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gaseous messenger molecule formed during conversion of L-arginine into L-citrulline by the enzyme NO synthase (NOS), which belongs to a group of NADPH diaphorases. Because of its gaseous diffusion properties, NO differs from classical neurotransmitters in that it is not restricted to synaptic terminals. In target cells, NO activates soluble guanylyl cyclase leading to an increase in cGMP levels. In insects, this NO/cGMP-signalling pathway is involved in development, memory formation and processing of visual, olfactory and mechanosensory information. We have analysed the distribution of putative NO donor and target cells in the central complex, a brain area involved in sky-compass orientation, of the locust Schistocerca gregaria by immunostaining for L-citrulline and cGMP. Six types of citrulline-immunostained neurons have been identified including a bilateral pair of hitherto undescribed neurons that connect the lateral accessory lobes with areas anterior to the medial lobes of the mushroom bodies. Three-dimensional reconstructions have revealed the connectivity pattern of a set of 18 immunostained pontine neurons of the central body. All these neurons appear to be a subset of previously mapped NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurons of the central complex. At least three types of central-complex neurons show cGMP immunostaining including a system of novel columnar neurons connecting the upper division of the central body and the lateral triangle of the lateral accessory lobe. Our results provide the morphological basis for further studies of the function of the labelled neurons and new insights into NO/cGMP signalling.

Keywords

L-citrulline cGMP  Brain Central complex Schistocerca gregaria (Insecta) 

List of abbreviations

BSA

Bovine serum albumin

CBL

Lower division of the central body

CBU

Upper division of the central body

cAMP

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate

cGMP

Cyclic guanosine monophosphate

CPU1a

Columnar (neuron) of the CBU, type 1a

DAB

3,3'-Diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride

DP2

Dopamine-immunoreactive (neuron) of the pars intercerebralis, type 2

GTP

Guanosine trisphosphate

IBMX

3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (inhibitor of phosphodiesterases)

LAL

Lateral accessory lobe

NADPH

Reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate

NADPHd

NADPH diaphorase

NGS

Normal goat serum

NO

Nitric oxide

NOS

Nitric oxide synthase

PB

Protocerebral bridge

PBS

Phosphate-buffered saline

PDE

Phosphodiesterase

POTu

Posterior optic tubercle

PoU1

Pontine (neuron) of the CBU, type 1

SNP

Sodium nitroprusside (nitric oxide donor)

SST

Saline substituted TRIS buffer

TB2

Tangential (neuron) of the PB, type 2

TBS

TRIS-buffered saline

TL1, 2, 4

Tangential (neurons) of the CBL, types 1, 2, 4

TrX

Triton X-100

YC-1

3-[5′-Hyrdroxymethyl-2′-furyl]-1-benzyl indazole (activator of soluble guanylate cyclase)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa Siegl
    • 1
  • Joachim Schachtner
    • 1
  • Gay R. Holstein
    • 2
  • Uwe Homberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich Biologie, TierphysiologiePhilipps Universität MarburgMarburgGermany
  2. 2.Departments of Neurology and NeuroscienceMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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