Immunohistochemical localization of neuropeptide FF-like in the brain of the turtle: Relation to catecholaminergic structures

Departamento de Biología Celular, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Brain Research Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.72). 04/2008; 75(2-4):256-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.10.025
Source: PubMed


A previous study in the lizard Gekko gecko has revealed that neuropeptide FF (NPFF, a neuropeptide involved in nociception, cardiovascular regulation, and endocrine function) is widely distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord. Although the distribution of NPFF immunoreactivity shares many features with that found in other vertebrates, it was noted that Gekko shared more features with anamniotes in terms of number of cell groups, more elaborate networks of fibers, and lack of colocalization with catecholamines, than with mammals. To assess the primitive or derived character of these features, NPFF and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) antibodies have been applied to the brain and spinal cord of the turtle, Pseudemys scripta elegans, which belongs to a different radiation of reptiles. As in Gekko, major NPFF-ir cell groups were found in the diagonal band nucleus of Broca and in the hypothalamus, whereas additional cells were identified in the anterior olfactory nucleus, lateral and dorsal cortices, dorsal ventricular ridge, and the intergeniculate leaflet formation. Notable differences are the presence of NPFF-ir cells in the medial cortex and striatum of Pseudemys, which are lacking in Gekko. On the other hand, no NPFF-ir cells could be detected in the septal region and dorsal horn of the spinal cord in Pseudemys. Double staining with NPFF and TH antibodies revealed an intimate relationship between NPFF-ir and TH-ir structures but colocalization could not be established. In conclusion, the distribution of NPFF in the brain of Pseudemys has corroborated previous results in Gekko, but also revealed some notable species differences.

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