The amphibian order Gymnophiona contains more than 150 different species of caecilians. The characterization and distribution of neurohypophysial peptides, however, has not been described for any member of this order. By using high-performance liquid chromatography, radioimmunoassay, and mass spectrometry, we identified the peptide arginine vasotocin (AVT) in brain and pituitary extracts from the caecilian Typhlonectes natans. By using immunocytochemistry, we found five populations of AVT-immunoreactive (AVT- ir) cells in the brain of T. natans. AVT-ir cell bodies were located in the preoptic area, amygdala pars medialis, ventral thalamus, dorsal hypothalamic nucleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. AVT-ir fibers and terminal fields were widespread. We also identified a mesotocin-like peptide. The distribution of this peptide in the brain of T. natans was more restricted than the distribution of AVT. Mesotocin-like-immunoreactive cell bodies were located almost exclusively in the preoptic area, with only a few other cells located in the amygdala pars medialis. This caecilian species, therefore, possesses neurohypophysial peptides that are similar in their structure and distribution to the peptides found in anuran and urodele amphibian orders.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Neurology|
|Publication status||Published - May 4 1998|
- High-performance liquid chromatography
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