The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 413–420 | Cite as

Immunocytochemical Localization of Serotonin in Embryos, Larvae and Adults of the Lancelet, Branchiostoma Floridae

  • S. Candiani
  • A. Augello
  • D. Oliveri
  • M. Passalacqua
  • R. Pennati
  • F. De Bernardi
  • M. Pestarino


Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a biogenic amine distributed throughout the metazoans and has an old evolutionary history. It is involved as a developmental signal in the early morphogenesis of both invertebrates and vertebrates, whereas in adults it acts mainly as a neurotransmitter and gastrointestinal hormone. In vertebrates, serotonin regulates the morphogenesis of the central nervous system and the specification of serotonergic as well as dopaminergic neurons. The present study uses, as an experimental model, an invertebrate chordate, the lancelet Branchiostoma floridae, characterized by its remarkable homologies with vertebrates that allows the 'bauplan' of the probable ancestor of vertebrates to be outlined. In particular, the involvement of serotonin as a developmental signal in embryos and larvae, as well as a neurotransmitter and gastrointestinal hormone in adult specimens of Branchiostoma floridae, gives further support to a common origin of cephalocordates and vertebrates.


Nervous System Central Nervous System Serotonin Experimental Model Evolutionary History 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Candiani
    • 1
  • A. Augello
    • 1
  • D. Oliveri
    • 1
  • M. Passalacqua
    • 2
  • R. Pennati
    • 3
  • F. De Bernardi
    • 3
  • M. Pestarino
    • 4
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale, Ambientale ed Applicata, Sezione di Neuroendocrinologia e Biologia dello SviluppoUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Sezione di BiochimicaUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità di MilanoMilanoItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale, Ambientale ed Applicata, Sezione di Neuroendocrinologia e Biologia dello SviluppoUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly

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