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Electrophysiology and morphology of growth hormone producing cells of lymnaea stagnalis

, : Electrophysiology and morphology of growth hormone producing cells of lymnaea stagnalis. Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen Series C Biological & Medical Sciences 88(1): 129-141

The neuroendocrine growth hormone producing cells in the cerebral ganglia of L. stagnalis are morphologically organized in 2 separate, bilaterally located, sub-systems each consisting of 2 clusters of cell-bodies. All axons of each sub-system run together in 1 bundle towards an ipsilateral neurohemal area. In this respect the growth hormone system differs from the neuroendocrine ovulation hormone system of this snail; all ovulation hormone producing cells end in one common neurohemal area and all are electrotonically connected. In other aspects there are similarities. Both cell types show great changes in excitability. A striking difference in excitability was found between growth hormone producing cells in directly isolated cerebral ganglia and those in implanted cerebral ganglia; this observation caused a breakthrough in the investigation of these cells. The second part of the present work deals with the characteristics of ionic channels of the growth hormone producing cells. A TTX[tritiated tetrodotoxin]-sensitive Na+-channel is present, and in addition Ca2+-ions also carry inward current. Agents like Ba2+-ions and 4-aminopyridine, which interfere with K+-conducting channels are able to bring about repetitive electrical activity. It may be that factors which regulate the secretion of the growth hormone do this by means of alterations of the K+-permeability. The characteristics of the ovulation hormone and the growth promoting systems are compared.

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