Differential expression of the FMRF gene in adult and hatchling stellate ganglia of the squid Loligo pealei. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The giant fiber system of the squid Loligo pealei mediates the escape response and is an important neurobiological model. Here, we identified an abundant transcript in the stellate ganglion (SG) that encodes a FMRFamide precursor, and characterized FMRFamide and FI/LRF-amide peptides. To determine whether FMRFamide plays a role in the adult and hatchling giant fiber system, we studied the expression of the Fmrf gene and FMRFamide peptides. In stage 29 embryos and stage 30 hatchlings, Ffmr transcripts and FMRFamide peptide were low to undetectable in the SG, in contrast to groups of neurons intensely expressing the Fmrf gene in several brain lobes, including those that innervate the SG. In the adult SG the Fmrf gene was highly expressed, but the FMRFamide peptide was in low abundance. Intense staining for FMRFamide in the adult SG was confined to microneurons and fibers in the neuropil and to small fibers surrounding giant axons in stellar nerves. This shows that the Fmrf gene in the SG is strongly regulated post-hatching, and suggests that the FMRFamide precursor is incompletely processed in the adult SG. The data suggest that the SG only employs the Fmrf gene post-hatching and restricts the biosynthesis of FMRFamide, demonstrating that this peptide is not a major transmitter of the giant fiber system. This contrasts with brain lobes that engage FMRFamide embryonically as a regulatory peptide in multiple neuronal systems, including the afferent fibers that innervate the SG. The biological significance of these mechanisms may be to generate diversity within Fmrf-expressing systems in cephalopods.

publication date

  • January 15, 2014