• Crustacea;
  • biogenic amines;
  • catecholamines


As a catecholamine, depamine belogs to a class of molecules that have multiple transmitter and hhormonal functions in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. However, in the lobster, where many central beurons have been identified and the peripheral innervation pattern is well known, the distribution of dopamine-containing neurons has not been examined in detail. Therefore, immunocytochemical methods were used to identify neurons likey to contain dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase in the central nervous system of the juvenile lobster Homarus gammarus.Approximately 100 neuronal somata stain for the catecholamine and/or its synthetic enzyme in the brain and ventral nerve cord. The systems of neurons labeled with dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase natibodies have the following characteristic: (1) the two systems are nearly identical; (2) every segmental ganglion contains at least one pair of labeled neurons; (3)the positions and numbers of cell bodies labeled with each antiserum are similar in the various segmental ganglia; (4) six labeled neurons are anatomically identified; two interneurons from the brain project within the ventral cord to reach the last abdominal ganglion, two neurons from the commissural ganglia are presumably neurosecretory neurons, and two anterior unpaired medial abdominal neurons project to the hindgut muscles; and (5) nocell bodies are labeled in the stomatogastric ganglion, but fibers and terminals in the neuropil are stained. The remarkably small numbers of labeled neurons and the presence of very large labeled somata with far-reaching projections are distinctive features consistent with other modulatory aminergic systems in both vertebrates and invertebrates. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.