Immunocytochemical evidence for an NMDA1 receptor subunit in dissociated cells of Hydra vulgaris

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We have previously reported immunocytochemical, biochemical, behavioral, and electrophysiological evidence for glutamatergic transmission through (±)-α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptors in hydra. We now report specific localization of the N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor subunit 1 (NMDAR1) in epithelial, nerve, nematocytes, and interstitial cells of hydra. Macerates of tentacle/hypostome pieces of Hydra vulgaris were prepared on agar-coated slides, fixed with buffered formaldehyde/glutaraldehyde, and fluorescently labeled with monoclonal antibodies against mammalian NMDAR1. Negative controls omitted primary antibody. Digital images were recorded and analyzed. Specific localized and intense labeling was found in ectodermal battery cells, other epithelial cells, nematocytes, interstitial cells, and sensory and ganglionic nerve cells, and in battery cells was associated with enclosed nematocytes and neurons. The labeling of myonemes was more diffuse and less intense. In nerve and sensory cells, punctate labeling was prominent on cell bodies. These results are consistent with our earlier evidence for glutamatergic neurotransmission and kainate/NMDA regulation of stenotele discharge. They support other behavioral and biochemical evidence for a D-serine-sensitive, strychnine-insensitive, glycine receptor in hydra and suggest that the glutamatergic AMPA/kainate-NMDA system is an early evolved, phylogenetically old, behavioral control mechanism. © Springer-Verlag 2004.

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Cell and Tissue Research