Organization of the procerebrum in terrestrial pulmonates (Helix, Limax) reconsidered: Cell mass layer synaptology and its serotonergic input system

Károly Elekes*, Izabella Battonyai, Suguru Kobayashi, Etsuro Ito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The synaptology of the cell body layer of the olfactory center, procerebrum, was investigated in two prominent terrestrial pulmonate gastropod species, Helix pomatia and Limax valentianus. In addition, the analysis of the 5-HT-immunoreactive innervation, including ultrastructural level, was performed at high resolution in H. pomatia. A highly complex system of synaptic and non-synaptic connections was found in the procerebrum of both species connected to local neuropil areas of different size. The procerebral (globuli) cell perikarya were richly innervated by varicosities meanwhile the axon profiles also established contacts with each other. Synaptic configurations including convergence, divergence and presynaptic modulation were also revealed. The frequent occurrence of unspecialized but close axo-somatic and axo-axonic membrane contacts referring to the modulatory forms of transmitter release were also accompanied by membrane configurations indicative of active exocytosis. In H. pomatia, the cell mass layer was shown to receive a rich 5-HT-immunoreactive innervation, forming a dense network around the cell bodies. At ultrastructural level, 5-HT-immunoreactive varicosities contacted both cell bodies and different unlabeled axon profiles. Our results suggest that the local neuropil regions in the cell body layer are site of local circuits, which may play a decisive role in olfactory integrative processes bound to the procerebrum. The pattern and form of the 5-HT-immunoreactive innervation of extrinsic origin suggest an overall modulatory role in the cell body layer. The results may serve a basis for considering the role of local intercellular events, connected to microcircuits, within the procerebrum cell body layer involved in oscillation activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-490
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-HT
  • Axo-somatic contacts
  • Gastropoda
  • Helix
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Limax
  • Local neuropils
  • Mollusca
  • Procerebrum
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Histology


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