The presence and distribution of Antho-RFamide-like material in scyphomedusae
The nervous systems of the scyphomedusae Chrysaora hysoscella, Cyanea capillata and Cyanea lamarckii (Phylum Cnidaria) were stained using an antiserum against the anthozoan neuropeptide Antho-RFamide. Staining was widespread in all three species. In Chrysaora, the antiserum revealed nerve nets in the subumrella and exumbrella ectoderm, in both faces of the oral lobes, and in the endoderm lining the subumbrella and exumbrella surfaces of the gastric cavity. The most prominent staining occurred in a dense plexus of neurons in the ectoderm at the base of the tentacles. This nerve net sent projections into the subumbrella ectoderm. For the most part, staining in the two species of Cyanea was similar to that in Chrysaora, with a few exceptions. These include the presence, in Cyanea, of an obvious tentacular nerve tract and nerve nets associated with clusters of cnidocytes in the tentacles. Radioimmunoassays of extracts from Chrysaora and Cyanea lamarkii revealed that both species contain large amounts of Antho-RFamide-like material (up to 55 nmol/animal). The results indicate that Antho-RFamide-like neuropeptides are widespread in scyphomedusae.