Neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and neurotrophin receptors in the gut of pantex, a hybrid sparid fish (Pagrus major x Dentex dentex). Localizations in the enteric nervous and endocrine systems

  • Cinzia Domeneghini
  • G. Radaelli
  • S. Arrighi
  • L. Castaldo
  • C. Lucini
  • F. Mascarello
Keywords: fish hybrids, fish gut, neuro-endocrine system, acetylcholinesterase, NADPH-diaphorase, Trks


The gut of Pantex, a sparid hybrid fish (Pagrus major x Dentex dentex) with a great potential importance for the Italian aquaculture, was histochemically and immunohistochemically investigated in order to evidence components of the intramural nervous and diffuse endocrine systems. The general structural aspects of the intramural nervous system were shown by the Nissl-thionin staining. As in most other fish, it was only organized in the myenteric plexus. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was observed in both nerve cell bodies and terminals al1 along the gut. The NADPH-diaphorase reactivity too, possibly linked to the synthesis and release of nitric oxide, was present in nerve cell bodies and nerve terminals of the oesophagus, stomach and intestine. In addition, the intramural nervous system was shown to contain Trk (tyrosinekinase) receptors for neurotrophin, as evidenced by Trk A-, Trk B- and Trk C-like immunoreactivities, thus suggesting an involvement of neurotrophin in the function of this system. Trk B- and Trk C-like immunoreactivities were detected in epithelial endocrine cells, too. The additional presence of serotonin- and metenkephalin- like immunoreactivities in numerous endocrine cells in the epithelial layers of the stomach and intestine was showed.