The distribution of Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-amide (FMRFamide) peptide-immunoreactive (FMRF-ir) cells and fibers in the terminal nerve and central nervous system was investigated in developing stages and adults of the brown trout, Salmo trutta fario. The first FMRF-ir neurons appeared in the terminal nerve system of 8-mm embryos in and below the olfactory placode. In the brain, FMRF-ir neurons were first observed in the rostral hypothalamus, primordial hypothalamic lobe, mesencephalic laminar nucleus, and locus coeruleus of 12- to 13 -m embryos. After hatching, FMRF-ir cells appeared in the lateral part of the ventral telencephalic area and the anterior tuberal nucleus. In adult trout, FMRF-ir cells were observed in all these areas. The number of FMRF-ir neurons increased markedly in some of these populations during development. Dense innervation by FMRF-ir fibers was observed in the dorsal and lateral parts of the dorsal telencephalic area, and in the ventral telencephalic area, the lateral preoptic area, the medial hypothalamic and posterior tubercle regions, midbrain tegmentum and rhombencephalic reticular areas, the central gray, the superior raphe nucleus, the secondary visceral nucleus, the vagal nuclei, and the area postrema. Fairly rich FMRF-ir innervation was also observed in the optic tectum and some parts of the torus semicircularis. The saccus vasculosus and hypophysis received a moderate amount of FMRF-ir fibers. Innervation of most of these regions appeared either in late alevins or fry, although FMRF-ir fibers in the preoptic area, hypothalamus, and reticular areas appeared in embryos. Comparative analysis of the complex innervation pattern observed in the brain of trout suggests that FMRF is involved in a variety of functions, like the FMRF family of peptides in mammals.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.