Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 270, Issue 3, pp 601–607 | Cite as

Localization of dopamine in the freshwater hydrozoanHydra attenuata

  • Mats Carlberg


High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), with electrochemical detection, is an analytical method sensitive enough to permit quantification of dopamine, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) and 5-S-cysteinyl DOPA in single or hemisected specimens ofHydra attenuata. Dopamine and 5-S-cysteinylDOPA appear to be the quantitatively predominant catechol compounds inH. attenuata, whereas DOPA is present in minor amounts. The presence of DOPA and 5-S-cysteinylDOPA, and the quantitative correlation between dopamine and these compounds in many specimens, suggests that dopamine inH. attenuata, as in higher animals, is formed through decarboxylation of DOPA. Contrary to the dopaminergic nerves in higher animals, DOPA inHydra seems to be oxidized and 5-S-cysteinyl DOPA is formed as a by-product. The oxidation of DOPA indicates that the hydroxylation of tyrosine into DOPA in the tissues ofH. attenuata is mediated by a tyrosinase rather than a tyrosine hydroxylase. Immunocytochemical methods demonstrate a highly variable distribution of dopamine in the tissues of different specimens ofH. attenuata. Dopamine immunoreactivity is confined to ectodermal tissue and can be found in several different cell types including nerve cells, battery cells, nematocytes, epithelial cells and interstitial undifferentiated cells. The large amounts of dopamine found in some specimens ofH. attenuata indicate some biological function, although its sporadic occurrence in neurites makes it less plausible as a generally utilized neurotransmitter in this animal.

Key words

Dopamine HPLC Immunocytochemistry Hydra attenuata (Cnidaria) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mats Carlberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of LundLundSweden

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