MESOCEREBRAL NEURONS AND THEIR ROLE IN THE CONTROL OF MATING BEHAVIOUR by RONALD CHASE and GUOYI LI (Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Ave. Docteur Penfield, Montreal, (Quebec, H3A 1B1 Canada) ABSTRACT This paper is concerned with the mesoccrebral lobe of the brain in terrestrial gastropod molluscs, principally Helix aspersa. Properties of the intrinsic neurons are discussed from the perspectives of morphology, immunohistochemistry and neurophysiology. The mor- phological and neurophysiological data are particularly compelling in suggesting a role for the mesocerebrum in the control of mating behaviour. The immunohistochemical data, together with experimental work, indicate an endocrine function. Thus, we conclude that the mesocerebrum has a comprehensive function in the control of reproduction. KEY WORDS: snails, Helix aspersa, love dart, sexual behaviour, FMRFamide, APGW- amide, immunohistochemistry, neuroanatomy. INTRODUCTION A major attraction of the molluscan nervous system is the prospect of relating relatively simple brain structures to relatively simple behav- iours. One consipcuous behaviour is mating. Because its execution requires the excitation of ordinarily quiescent neural pathways, and the activation of specialized effector organs, one might expect the involvement of discrete, identifidable brain structures. Our studies have used the common garden snail, Helix aspersa, in which mating consists of
Netherlands Journal of Zoology (in 2003 continued as Animal Biology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1993
Keywords: Helix aspersa; APGWamide; neuroanatomy; FMRFamide; snails; immunohistochemistry; love dart; sexual behaviour
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