Substance P-, FMRFamide-, and gastrin/cholecystokinin-like immunoreactive neurons in the thoraco-abdominal ganglia of the flies Drosophila and Calliphora

J Comp Neurol. 1990 Apr 8;294(2):161-78. doi: 10.1002/cne.902940202.


Immunocytochemical analysis of the thoraco-abdominal ganglia of the flies Drosophila melanogaster and Calliphora vomitoria revealed neurons displaying substance P- (SPLI), FMRFamide-(FLI), and cholecystokinin-like (CCKLI) immunoreactivity. It could be demonstrated that a number of neurons contain peptides reacting with antisera against all the three types of substances, others were either FLI or CCKLI alone. No neurons displayed only SPLI. Instead, the total number (about 30) of SPLI neurons constitute a subpopulation of the FLI/CCKLI neurons. Many of the identifiable immunoreactive neurons seem to be homologous in the two fly species. One set of six large neurons, termed ventral thoracic neurosecretory neurons (VTNCs), are among those that are SPLI, FLI, and CCKLI in both Drosophila and Calliphora. With the present immunocytochemical technique, the detailed morphology of the VTNCs could be resolved. These neurosecretory neurons supply the entire dorsal neural sheath of the thoraco-abdominal ganglia with terminals, thus forming an extensive neurohaemal area. The VTNCs also have processes connecting the thoracic neuromeres to the cephalic suboesophageal ganglion, as well as extensive arborizations in the thoracic ganglia, suggesting an important role in integrating and/or regulating large portions of the central nervous system, in addition to their neurosecretory function. Most of the other SPLI, FLI, and CCKLI neurons in the thoraco-abdominal ganglia seem to be interneurons. However, there are four FLI neurons that appear to be efferents innervating the hindgut and a few abdominal FLI and CCKLI neurons may be additional neurosecretory cells. From the present study it appears as if neuropeptides related to substance P, FMRFamide and CCK have roles as neurotransmitters/neuromodulators and circulating neurohormones in Drosophila and Calliphora.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholecystokinin / metabolism*
  • Diptera / metabolism*
  • Diptera / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • FMRFamide
  • Gastrins / metabolism*
  • Nervous System / cytology
  • Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Substance P / metabolism*


  • Gastrins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Substance P
  • FMRFamide
  • Cholecystokinin