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Development of glycine immunoreactivity in the brain of the sea lamprey: comparison with gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactivity.

The development of glycine immunoreactivity in the brain of the sea lamprey was studied by use of immunofluorescence techniques at embryonic to larval stages. Glycine distribution was also compared with that of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) by use of double immunofluorescence. The first glycine-immunoreactive (ir) cells appeared in the caudal rhombencephalon of late embryos, diencephalon of early prolarvae, and mesencephalon of late prolarvae, in which glycine-ir cells were observed in several prosencephalic regions (preoptic nucleus, hypothalamus, ventral thalamus, dorsal thalamus, pretectum, and nucleus of the medial longitudinal fascicle), mesencephalon (M5), isthmus, and rhombencephalon. In larvae, glycine-ir populations were observed in the olfactory bulbs, preoptic nucleus and thalamus (prosencephalon), M5 and oculomotor nucleus (mesencephalon), dorsal isthmic gray, isthmic reticular formation, and various alar and basal plate rhombencephalic populations. No glycine-ir cells were observed in the larval optic tectum or torus semicircularis, which contain glycine-ir populations in adults. A wide distribution of glycine-ir fibers was observed, which suggests involvement of glycine in the function of most lamprey brain regions. Colocalization of GABA and glycine in prolarvae was found mainly in cell groups of the diencephalon, in the ventral isthmic group, and in trigeminal populations. In larvae, colocalization of GABA and glycine was principally observed in the M5 nucleus, the reticular formation, and the dorsal column nucleus. The present results reveal for the first time the complex developmental pattern of the glycinergic system in lamprey, including early glycine-ir populations, populations transiently expressing glycine, and late-appearing populations, in relation to maturation changes that occur during metamorphosis.

Pubmed ID: 19085968


  • Villar-Cerviño V
  • Barreiro-Iglesias A
  • Anadón R
  • Rodicio MC


The Journal of comparative neurology

Publication Data

February 20, 2009

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Glycine
  • Neurons
  • Petromyzon
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid