Serotonin-like immunoreactivity in the stomatogastric nervous systems of crayfishes from four genera

Cell Tissue Res. 1999 Mar;295(3):537-51. doi: 10.1007/s004410051259.


We used whole-mount immunocytochemistry to characterize the distribution of serotonin in the stomatogastric nervous systems of seven species of crayfish representing three genera from the family Cambaridae (Orconectes, Cambarus, and Procambarus) and one from the family Astacidae (Pacifastacus). In all species, we observed serotonin-like immunoreactivity in four gastropyloric receptor (GPR) neurons located in the lateral ventricular nerves, with one pair of neurons in each nerve. As in other crustaceans, the GPR axons project to the stomatogastric ganglion and to the bilateral commissural ganglia. In three crayfishes, we observed the GPR axons crossing the commissural ganglia, and extending toward the thoracic nervous system. This feature was most clearly and consistently seen in Pacifastacus leniusculus. The number of stained somata in the commissural ganglia varied among crayfish species from two (in Procambarus clarkii) to five (in Pacifastacus leniusculus). The largest soma (the L cell) displayed both serotonin- and tyrosine hydroxylase-like immunoreactivity in all species, suggesting that serotonin and dopamine are cotransmitters in this cell. The inferior esophageal nerve and a branch of this nerve (the inner labral nerve) contained several axons with serotonin-like immunoreactivity. These axons were clearly present in only one species (Procambarus clarkii). Serotonin acts as a neuromodulator of rhythms produced by circuits in the crab and lobster stomatogastric ganglion, and is likely to play a similar role in crayfish. Differences are apparent in the distribution of serotonin among crayfish species and between crayfish and other crustaceans, and could result in differences in the physiological action of this modulator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astacoidea
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / chemistry*
  • Invertebrates
  • Mechanoreceptors / chemistry
  • Serotonin / analysis*
  • Serotonin / immunology
  • Stomach / innervation


  • Serotonin