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Keywords:

  • glycinergic system;
  • telencephalon;
  • reticular formation;
  • octavolateral area;
  • immunohistochemistry;
  • saccus vasculosus;
  • elasmobranchs

ABSTRACT

The glycinergic cell populations in the brain of the lesser spotted dogfish were studied by a glycine immunofluorescence method. Numerous glycine-immunoreactive (Gly-ir) neurons were observed in different brain nuclei. In the telencephalon, Gly-ir cells were observed in the olfactory bulb, telencephalic hemispheres, and preoptic region. In the hypothalamus, cerebrospinal fluid-contacting Gly-ir neurons were observed in the lateral and posterior recess nuclei. Coronet cells of the saccus vasculosus were Gly-ir. In the diencephalon, Gly-ir neurons were observed in the prethalamus and pretectum. In the midbrain, both the optic tectum and lateral mesencephalic nucleus contained numerous Gly-ir neurons. In the cerebellum, many Golgi cells were Gly-ir. In the rhombencephalon, Gly-ir cells were observed in the medial and ventral octavolateral nuclei, vagal lobe, visceromotor nuclei, and reticular formation, including the inferior raphe nucleus. In the spinal cord, some neurons of the marginal nucleus and some cells of the dorsal and ventral horns were Gly-ir. Comparison of dogfish Gly-ir cell populations with those reported for the sea lamprey, Siberian sturgeon, and zebrafish revealed some shared features but also notable differences. For example, Gly-ir cells were observed in the dogfish cerebellum, unlike the case in the Siberian sturgeon and zebrafish, whereas the absence of Gly-ir neurons in the isthmus is shared by all these species, except for lampreys. Gly-ir populations in the dogfish hypothalamus and telencephalon are notable in comparison with those of the other jawed vertebrates investigated to date. Together, these results reveal a complex and divergent evolution of glycinergic systems in the major groups of fishes. J. Comp. Neurol. 521: 3057–3082, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.