By use of an antiserum raised against the Nterminal sequence pGlu-Leu-Asn-Phe..., common to red pigment-concentrating hormone (RPCH) of Pandalus borealis and three structurally similar insect neuropeptides, putative RPCH-immunopositive structures were revealed in the eyestalks of Carcinus maenas and Orconectes limosus and in the brain and thoracic ganglion (TG) of C. maenas. In the eyestalks, complete neurosecretory pathways were demonstrated, consisting of perikarya, axons and terminals in the neurohemal organ, the sinus gland (SG). In C. maenas approximately 20 small RPCH cells are present as a distinct group adjacent to the medulla terminalis ganglionic X-organ (MTGXO, XO). They are morphologically different from the larger XO perikarya, which contain the crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH). The occurrence of both neuropeptides in distinct neurosecretory pathways was ascertained by immunologic double staining (PAP/gold) or by analysis of consecutive sections. In addition, a group of two to four larger RPCH cells is located in the proximal part of the MT. In O. limosus, RPCH cells are found in the XO. Cells corresponding to the proximal MT cells of C. maenas were not found. In both species, a few more weakly staining immunopositive perikarya were observed in clusters of cell somata of the optic ganglia. It is uncertain whether these are connected to the SG.In the brain of C. maenas, several smaller and three larger perikarya were consistently observed in the dorsal lateral cell somata adjacent to the olfactory lobes. In the optic nerve, two axons that project into the eyestalk were stained. Some axons were also observed in the ventral median neuropil of the brain. In the TG, RPCH cells were found in small numbers in median positions, i.e., in clusters of somata between the ganglia of the appendages. HPLC analysis of the red pigment-concentrating activity from the SG of C. maenas revealed that the retention time of the neuropeptide is similar but not identical to that of Pandalus borealis RPCH.
Springer , 1986. Vol. 245, no 2, 377-386 p.