Glutamate Receptor 5/6/7-Like and Glutamate Transporter-1-Like Immunoreactivity in the Leech Central Nervous System
Maria Stella E. Thorogood, Vania W. Almeida, and Peter D. Brodfuehrer

Previous physiological and pharmacological evidence has suggested a neurotransmitter role for the excitatory amino acid glutamate in the leech central nervous system (CNS). In the present study, we sought to localize glutamate receptor (GluR) subunits [GluR 5/6/7, GluR 2/3 and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 1 (NMDAR 1)] and a glutamate transporter subtype (GLT-1) within the leech CNS using mono- and polyclonal antibodies. In whole-mounted tissue, small cells of the outer capsule and putative microglia labeled with both GluR 5/6/7 and GluR 2/3 but not NMDAR 1 subunit antisera. In general, GluR 5/6/7-like immunofluorescence was both more intense and more widespread than GluR 2/3-like immunolabeling. Cryostat-sectioned tissue revealed extensive GluR 5/6/7-like immunoreactivity throughout the neuropil as well as labeling within a few neuronal somata. GLT-1-like immunoreactivity localized to the inner capsule, which is the interface between neuronal somata and the neuropil and is deeply invested by processes of neuropil glia. These results complement previous physiological and pharmacological findings indicating that the leech CNS possesses the cellular machinery to respond to glutamate and to transport glutamate from extracellular spaces. Together, they provide further evidence for glutamate's role as a neurotransmitter within the leech CNS.

Co-localization of glutamate receptor 5/6/7-like immunoreactivity and cell 204 processes