The descending and intrinsic serotoninergic innervation of an Elasmobranch spinal cord.
MetadataShow full item record
The descending and the intrinsic components of the serotoninergic (5HT) innervation of the Atlantic stingray spinal cord were described by comparing the distributions of neuronal elements exhibiting 5HT-like immunoreactivity (peroxidase-antiperoxidase method) in sections caudal and rostral to spinal transections. The cells of origin of the descending 5HT system were located with a double labeling method for both retrogradely transported horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and 5HT staining. The descending system provides virtually the entire 5HT innervation of the dorsal horn, the intermediate zone, and the dorsal and lateral portions of the ventral horn. Fibers of the descending 5HT system course in the lateral funiculus, the dorsal portion of the ventral funiculus, and in the submeningeal zones of the dorsal and lateral aspects of the spinal cord. This projection primarily originates from the 5HT cell groups of the caudal rhombencephalon (groups II and III; Ritchie et al., '83), with a minor contribution from group IV in the rostral rhombencephalon. The organization of the descending 5HT system in stingrays is remarkably similar to that of mammals. The intrinsic spinal 5HT system consists of cells distributed in the ventromedial spinal cord that have processes extending longitudinally in a ventral submeningeal fiber network. Fibers were traced from the submeningeal system to the ventral horn, where varicose processes were restricted largely to the neuropil ventral to the somata of the fin motoneurons. The existence of a well-defined intrinsic 5HT system in stingrays supports the hypothesis that such a system exists in the spinal cords of a variety of vertebrates.