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Open Access Research article

Dopaminergic neurons in the brain and dopaminergic innervation of the albumen gland in mated and virgin helisoma duryi (mollusca: pulmonata)

Lana Kiehn1, Saber Saleuddin2* and Angela Lange3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, M3J1P3, Canada

2 Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, M3J1P3, Canada

3 Department of Zoology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, L5L1C6, Canada

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BMC Physiology 2001, 1:9  doi:10.1186/1472-6793-1-9

Published: 1 August 2001

Abstract

Background

Dopamine was shown to stimulate the perivitelline fluid secretion by the albumen gland. Even though the albumen gland has been shown to contain catecholaminergic fibers and its innervation has been studied, the type of catecholamines, distribution of fibers and the precise source of this neural innervation has not yet been deduced. This study was designed to address these issues and examine the correlation between dopamine concentration and the sexual status of snails.

Results

Dopaminergic neurons were found in all ganglia except the pleural and right parietal, and their axons in all ganglia and major nerves of the brain. In the albumen gland dopaminergic axons formed a nerve tract in the central region, and a uniform net in other areas. Neuronal cell bodies were present in the vicinity of the axons. Dopamine was a major catecholamine in the brain and the albumen gland. No significant difference in dopamine quantity was found when the brain and the albumen gland of randomly mating, virgin and first time mated snails were compared.

Conclusions

Our results represent the first detailed studies regarding the catecholamine innervation and quantitation of neurotransmitters in the albumen gland. In this study we localized catecholaminergic neurons and axons in the albumen gland and the brain, identified these neurons and axons as dopaminergic, reported monoamines present in the albumen gland and the brain, and compared the dopamine content in the brain and the albumen gland of randomly mating, virgin and first time mated snails.