From Polyplacophora to Cephalopoda: comparative analysis of nitric oxide signalling in mollusca.

L. L. Moroz, R. Gillette

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The distribution of putative nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-containing cells has been analysed using NADPH-d histochemistry in the CNS and peripheral tissues in more than 2D ecologically and systematically different molluscan genera representing 3 main classes of the phylum MOLLUSCA: Polyplacophora (Lepidopleurus, Lepidozona, Katharina), Gastropoda (Littorina, Lymnaea, Aplexa, Physa, Planorbarius, Planorbis, Helisoma, Biomphalaria, Helix, Limax, Cepaea, Bulla, Aplysia, Phyllaplysia, Philine, Pleurobranchea, Tritonia, Armina, Flabellina, Cadlina) and Cephalopoda (Octopus, Sepia, Rossia, Loligo). Several species were used for more detailed immunohistochemical, biochemical, biophysical and physiological studies to further assay of NOS activity and to analyse functional roles of nitric oxide (NO) in these animals. The main conclusions of our comparative analysis and literature survey can be summarised as following: (i) There is strong evidence for the presence of NO-dependent signalling pathways in different molluscan species. (ii) We hypothesise that a general tendency in the evolution of NADPH-d-reactive cells in Mollusca is a migration of nitrergic function from periphery to the CNS. Also, different isoforms of NOS appear to be present in any one species. (iii) One of the main functional targets of NO signalling is the feeding system. However, there are obvious differences between predators (many labelled central motoneurons) and herbivorous species (many labelled peripheral putative sensory cells) as well as between land/freshwater and marine animals. Nevertheless, in all species tested NO-activated feeding-like motor patterns in the buccal ganglia. Additional functional and cellular targets for NO in molluscs are also considered. We briefly review neuromodulatory mechanisms of NO action and we consider molluscs as useful model systems for investigations of the roles of NO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalActa biologica Hungarica
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Neurology


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