Objetivos: In this work we characterized glial cells and

Silvana Allodi1, Simone Florim da Silva1,2, Clynton Lourenço Corrêa1,3, Cristine
Maria Bressan1,4, Ana Maria Blanco Martinez1, Leny Alves Cavalcante5
1 - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Morfológicas, Instituto de Ciências
Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ); 2 – Departamento de
Morfologia, Centro de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Federal Fluminense; 3 –
Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e
Mucuri; 4 – Departamento de Biologia Celular, Embriologia e Genética,
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina; 5 – Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas
Filho, UFRJ.
Objectives: Invertebrates with their more than one million documented species
constitute approximately 95 % of all known living organisms on Earth. However
many aspects of their nervous system biology, and especially of their glial cells,
have not yet been investigated. Therefore, in order to contribute to the knowledge
of these cells, in this work we characterized the glial cells of the visual system of
two crustaceans: the crab Ucides cordatus and the prawn Macrobrachium
rosenbergii. Methods and Results: The eyestalk of decapod crustaceans is
constituted by ommatidia and by the lamina ganglionaris (LG), the external (EM),
internal (IM) and terminal medullae, which are followed by the protocerebral tract
(PT). The LG, made up by monopolar neurons and glia, is the site where the first
visual synapses with axons from the ommatidia occur. A thick basement
membrane (BM) composed by cells and extracellular matrix separates the
ommatidia from the fasciculated zone (FZ), a nerve formed by the ommatidia
photoreceptors and glial cells. Classical histochemical reactions for revealing
carbohydrates by light microscopy (Periodic Acid-Schiff or PAS), electron
immunoelectronmicroscopy and Western blot analyses for glial fibrillary acidic
protein (GFAP), 2´,3´-cyclic nucleotide 3´-phosphodiesterase (CNPase), glutamine
synthetase (GS) and S100 were used. PAS-positive material evidenced glycogen
in putative glial cells in different cell processes in specific regions of the optic
ganglia of both species, such as the BM, among the photoreceptor axons,
surrounding the cartridges and the outer limits of the LG, EM and IM. The Thiéry
method revealed glycogen aggregates in different glial cell processes in the FZ and
PT, turning visible the presence of at least two types of glial cells in these
structures, the perineurial and periaxonal cells. The immunoreactions (for both light
and electron microscopy) with anti-GFAP and anti-CNPase, which in vertebrates
evidence astrocytes and a non compact myelin protein, respectively, labeled
distinct cell types. Immunocytochemical reactions with antibodies against GS full
length molecule and S100, as well as the binding of the insect glia and rat
astrocytic marker, the Datura stramonium lectin, also evidenced different types of
glial cells. Western blotting for GFAP, GS and S100 confirmed their presence in
the visual system of crabs and prawns. Conclusions: These results suggest that
crustacean glial cells may be studied with classical methods used for a few insects
and vertebrates. Our data also indicate that phenotype protein markers of the optic
lobe glia share antigenic determinants with GFAP, CNPase, GS and S-100, which
have appeared in higher invertebrates and may be conserved in evolution.
Financial support: FAPERJ, CNPq, FUJB/UFRJ.