Cricket, Acheta domestica
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The serotonergic innervation of the genital chamber of the female cricket, Acheta domestica, has been investigated applying anti-serotonin (5-HT) immunocyto-chemistry at both light- and electron-microscopic levels as well as using conventional electron microscopy. Whole mount and pre-embedding chopper techniques of immuno-cytochemistry reveal a dense 5-HT-immunoreactive network of varicose fibers in the musculature of the genital chamber. All of these immunoreactive fibers originate from the efferent serotonergic neuron projecting through the nerve 8v to the genital chamber (Hustert and Topel 1986; Elekes et al. 1987). At the electron-microscopic level, 5-HT-immunoreactive nerve terminals, which contain small (50–60 nm) and large (∼ 100 nm) agranular vesicles as well as granular vesicles (∼100nm), contact the muscle fibers or the sarcoplasmic processes without establishing specialized neuromuscular connections. In addition to the 5-HT-immunoreactive axons, two types of immunonegative axons can also be found in the musculature. By use of conventional electron microscopy, three ultrastructurally distinct types of axon processes can be observed, one of which resembles 5-HT-immunoreactive axons. While the majority of the varicosities do not synapse on the muscle fibers, terminals containing small (50–60 nm) agranular vesicles occasionally form specialized neuromuscular contacts. It is suggested that the 5-HTergic innervation plays a non-synaptic modulatory role in the regulation circular musculature in the genital chamber of the cricket, while the musculature as a whole may be influenced by both synaptic and modulatory mechanisms.
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