• Araneus cavaticus;
  • CNS;
  • GAD;
  • immunoreactivity;
  • spider


The γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has long been considered as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) of both vertebrates and arthropods. Since the glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) has a restricted tissue distribution and catalyzes the conversion of L-glutamate to GABA, immunoreactivity of GAD isoforms can reveal distribution of GABAergic neurons in the CNS. In the CNS of the spider Araneus cavaticus, immunoreactivity of GAD isoforms can be detected in the optic lobes including neurons and neuropiles of the supraesophageal ganglia. Strong GAD-like immunoreactive cell bodies are concentrated in two bilaterally symmetric cell clusters of the protocerebrum. Some intrinsic cell bodies near the central body also show strong immunoreactivity. However, the intrinsic nerve masses and some of the longitudinal and transverse tracts within the supraesophageal ganglion are only lightly labelled, and the fibers transverse the hemisphere and the central fibrous masses are not labelled. Among the three basic types of cell bodies surrounding the central body, several clusters of the Type-C cells show strong GAD-like immunoreactivity, however both of the Type-A and Type-B cells are not labelled at all.