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Organization of the corticotropin-releasing hormone and corticotropin-releasing hormone-binding protein systems in the central nervous system of the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus.

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Sobrido-Cameán, Daniel  ORCID logo
González-Llera, Laura  ORCID logo
Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón  ORCID logo


The expression of the corticotropin-releasing hormone (PmCRH) and the CRH-binding protein (PmCRHBP) mRNAs was studied by in situ hybridization in the brain of prolarvae, larvae, and adults of the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus. We also generated an antibody against the PmCRH mature peptide to study the distribution of PmCRH-immunoreactive cells and fibers. PmCRH immunohistochemistry was combined with antityrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry, PmCRHBP in situ hybridization, or neurobiotin transport from the spinal cord. The most numerous PmCRH-expressing cells were observed in the magnocellular preoptic nucleus-paraventricular nucleus and in the superior and medial rhombencephalic reticular formation. PmCRH expression was more extended in adults than in larvae, and some cell populations were mainly (olfactory bulb) or only (striatum, ventral hypothalamus, prethalamus) observed in adults. The preopto-paraventricular fibers form conspicuous tracts coursing toward the neurohypophysis, but many immunoreactive fibers were also observed coursing in many other brain regions. Brain descending fibers in the spinal cord mainly come from cells located in the isthmus and in the medial rhombencephalic reticular nucleus. The distribution of PmCRHBP-expressing neurons was different from that of PmCRH cells, with cells mainly present in the septum, striatum, preoptic region, tuberal hypothalamus, pretectum, pineal complex, isthmus, reticular formation, and spinal cord. Again, expression in adults was more extended than in larvae. PmCRH- and PmCRHBP-expressing cells are different, excluding colocalization of these substances in the same neuron. Present findings reveal a complex CRH/CRHBP system in the brain of the oldest extant vertebrate group, the agnathans, which shows similarities but important divergences with that of mammals.



CRH, CRH-binding protein, brain distribution, development, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, lamprey, Animals, Petromyzon, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone, Central Nervous System, Brain, Neurons, Mammals

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J Comp Neurol

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European Molecular Biology Organization (ALTF 62‐2021)
Agencia Estatal de Investigación (PID2020‐115121GB‐I00)
Xunta de Galicia (ED431C 2021/18)