Ultrastructural localization of egg-laying prohormone-related peptides in the atrial gland of Aplysia californica

Walter R.A. van Heumen, Gregg T. Nagle, Alexander Kurosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The atrial gland is an exocrine organ that secretes into the oviduct of Aplysia californica and expresses three homologous genes belonging to the egglaying hormone gene family. Although post-translational processing of the egg-laying hormone precursor in the neuroendocrine bag cells has been examined in detail, relatively little is known about the post-translational processing of egg-laying hormone-related gene products in the atrial gland. A combination of morphologic techniques that included light-microscopic histology and immunocytochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, and immuno-electron microscopy were used to localize egg-laying hormone-related peptides in the atrial gland and to evaluate the characteristic morphology of their secretory cells. Results of these studies showed that there were at least three major types of secretory cells in the atrial gland (types 1-3). Significantly, of these three cell types, only type 1 was immunoreactive to antisera against egg-laying hormone-related precursor peptides. The immunoreactivity studies established that all three egg-laying hormone-related precursor genes are expressed in type-1 cells and indicated that the processing of these precursors also occurs within the secretory granules of this cell type. Evidence was also obtained that proteolytic processing of the egg-laying hormone-related precursors differed significantly from that observed in the bag cells. In contrast to the bag cells, the NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal products of the egg-laying hormone-related precursors of the atrial gland were not sorted into different types of vesicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalCell & Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • Aplysia californica (Mollusca)
  • Atrial gland
  • Egg-laying hormone-related peptides
  • Immunocytochemical localization
  • Prohormone processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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