Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology

Permeability of the haemolymph-neural interface in the terrestrial snail Megalobulimus abbreviatus (Gastropoda, Pulmonata): an ultrastructural approach.

PMID 16603394


The aim of this study was to investigate the ultrastructure of the interface zone between the nervous tissue and the connective vascular sheath that surround the central ganglia of the terrestrial snail of Megalobulimus abbreviatus and test its permeability using lanthanum as an electron dense tracer. To this purpose, ganglia from a group of snails were fixed by immersion in a 2% colloidal lanthanum solution, and a second group of animals was injected in the foot with either a 2%, 10% or 20% lanthanum nitrate solution and then sacrificed 2 or 24 h after injection. Ganglia from both groups were processed for transmission electron microscopy. The vascular endothelium, connective tissue and basal lamina of variable thickness that ensheathe the nervous tissue and glial cells of the nervous tissue constitute the interface zone between the haemolymph and the neurones. The injected lanthanum reached the connective tissue of the perineural capsule; however, it did not permeate into the nervous tissue because the basal lamina interposed between both tissues interrupted this passage. Moreover, the ganglia fixed with colloidal lanthanum showed electron dense precipitates between the glial processes in the area adjacent to the basal lamina. It can be concluded from these findings that, of the different components of the haemolymph-neuronal interface, only the basal lamina, between the perineural capsule and the nervous tissue, limits the traffic of substances to and from the central nervous system of this snail.

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