Antisera to the sequence Arg-Phe-amide visualize neuronal centralization in hydroid polyps

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Antisera to the sequence Arg-Phe-amide (RF-amide) have a high affinity to the nervous system of fixed hydroid polyps. Whole-mount incubations of several Hydra species with RFamide antisera visualize the three-dimensional structure of an ectodermal nervous system in the hypostome, tentacles, gastric region and peduncle. In the hypostome of Hydra attenuata a ganglion-like structure occurs, consisting of numerous sensory cells located in a region around the mouth opening and a dense plexus of processes which project mostly radially towards the bases of the tentacles. In Hydra oligactis an ectodermal nerve ring was observed lying at the border of hypostome and tentacle bases. This nerve ring consists of a few large ganglion cells with thick processes forming a circle around the hypostome. This is the first direct demonstration of a nerve ring in a hydroid polyp. Incubation of Hydractinia echinata gastrozooids with RFamide antisera visualizes an extremly dense plexus of neuronal processes in body and head regions. A ring of sensory cells around the mouth opening is the first group of neurons to show RFamide immunoreactivity during the development of a primary polyp. In gonozooids the oocytes and spermatophores are covered with strongly immunoreactive neurons. All examples of whole-mount incubations with RF-amide antisera clearly show that hydroid polyps have by no means a "diffuse nerve net", as is often believed, and that neuronal centralization and plexus formation are common in these animals. The examples also show that treatment of intact fixed animals with RFamide antisera is a useful technique to study the anatomy or development of a principal portion of the hydroid nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1985

    Research areas

  • Hydrozoa, Nervous system, Neuropeptides, Reproduction, RFamide

ID: 370741303