DOI: 10.1152/jn.00390.2023 ISSN: 0022-3077

A Conserved Gastropod Withdrawal Circuit in Biomphalaria glabrata, an Intermediate Host for Schistosomiasis

Lee O. Vaasjo, Mark W. Miller
  • Physiology
  • General Neuroscience

Neuronal signals mediated by the biogenic amine serotonin underlie critical survival strategies across the animal kingdom. This investigation examined serotonin-like immunoreactive neurons in the cerebral ganglion of the panpulmonate snail Biomphalaria glabrata, a major intermediate host for the trematode parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Five neurons comprising the cerebral serotonergic F (CeSF) cluster of B. glabrata shared morphological characteristics with neurons that contribute to withdrawal behaviors in numerous heterobranch species. The largest member of this group, designated CeSF-1, projected an axon to the tentacle, a major site of threat detection. Intracellular recordings demonstrated repetitive activity and electrical coupling between the bilateral CeSF-1 cells. In semi-intact preparations, the CeSF-1 cells were not responsive to cutaneous stimuli, but did respond to photic stimuli. A large FMRF-NH2-like immunoreactive neuron, termed C2, was also located on the dorsal surface of each cerebral hemiganglion near the origin of the tentacular nerve. C2 and CeSF-1 received coincident bouts of inhibitory synaptic input. Moreover, in the presence of 5HT they both fired rhythmically and in phase. As the CeSF and C2 cells of Biomphalaria share fundamental properties with neurons that participate in withdrawal responses in Nudipleura and Euopisthobranchia, our observations support the proposal that features of this circuit are conserved in Panpulmonata.

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