Effects of seasonality and moult cycle on the proliferation of nerve cells and on the labelling of ecdysone receptors in an estuarine crab

Hollmann, Gabriela; Fonseca, Duane Barros da; Allodi, Silvana; Martínez, Pablo Elías; Nery, Luiz Eduardo Maia


Decapod crustaceans show proliferation of the nerve cells in the olfactory lobe throughout their lives. However, the regulation of this process is still poorly understood, since it may vary with endogenous and exogenous factors. The objective of the present investigation was to quantify the proliferation of nerve cells and number of nerve cells with ecdysone receptors in the clusters of the central olfactory system in Neohelice granulata, according to moult stages and in different seasons (summer and winter). Three injections of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) were administered to the crabs. Brains were sectioned by microtome and fixed on slides for immunohistochemistry with anti-BrdU and anti-EcR antibodies. The proliferation of nerve cells was higher in winter than in summer, probably because in winter the crabs do not breed and the premoult and postmoult periods are longer. Crabs in postmoult exhibited more BrdU-labelled cells than crabs in premoult or intermoult in winter, because of a greater number of mitoses related to an increase in body size and addition of olfactory receptor neurons. The number of EcRlabelled cells was higher in premoult than in postmoult or intermoult in winter. The proliferation of nerve cells is regulated seasonally and according to moult stages.

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