Postembryonic development of serotoninlike immunoreactivity in the central nervous system of the snail, Lymnaea stagnalis

J Comp Neurol. 1989 Feb 1;280(1):122-42. doi: 10.1002/cne.902800109.


Posthatching growth in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis involves approximately a 20-fold increase in the linear dimensions of the ganglia composing the central nervous system. Developmental change within the population of neurons exhibiting serotoninlike immunoreactivity (SLIR) was examined in order to explain this growth in cellular terms. The study indicates that at least two factors contribute to the growth of the nervous system. First, SLIR cells approximately double in number from the 200-250 cells in hatchlings to the complement found in animals approaching sexual maturity. Much of this increase in cell number occurred within identifiable discrete clusters of neurons with different clusters adding cells at different rates and at different times. The number of SLIR cells also increased in more diffuse populations, particularly along the medial aspects of the paired pedal and the right parietal ganglion. No identified cells were added postembryonically. In addition to the increases in neuron numbers, posthatching development in Lymnaea also involves the growth of individual cells. All cells examined showed continuous somatic growth during posthatching development, but different identified cells and different cell clusters were characterized by different rates of relative growth. Together, the results highlight the complexity of postembryonic development in the snail by indicating the temporal and spatial specificity for both cell addition and cell growth within the nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Ganglia / growth & development
  • Ganglia / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymnaea / cytology
  • Lymnaea / growth & development*
  • Lymnaea / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Serotonin / physiology


  • Serotonin