Localization of the neuropeptide NCIWYamide in the holothurian nervous system and its effects on muscular contraction

Masahide Inoue, Rüdiger Birenheide, Osamu Koizumi, Yoshitaka Kobayakawa, Yojiro Muneoka, Tatsuo Motokawa

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49 Citations (Scopus)


NGIWYamide is a peptide recently isolated from the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. It stiffens the connective tissue of the holothurian body wall. Localization of NGIWYamide was investigated by immunohistochemical staining with antiserum raised against NGIWYamide. In holothurian nervous systems NGIWYamide-like immunoreactivity (NGIWYa-LI) was observed in the hyponeural and ectoneural regions of the radial nerve cord, as well as in the circumoral nerve ring, podial nerves, tentacular nerves, the basiepithelial nerve plexus of the intestine and in cellular processes running through the body wall dermis. Labelled nerve fibres from the hyponeural part of the radial nerve running towards the circular muscle and from the podial nerve into the body wall dermis suggest that NGIWYamide controls both muscle and connective tissue. We examined the effect on muscle activity of the sea cucumber. NGIWYamide (10-7 to 10-4 M) caused contraction of the longitudinal body wall muscle. Tentacles showed contraction only at a higher dose (10-4 M). NGIWYamide (10-4 M) inhibited spontaneous contraction of the intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1000
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1423
Publication statusPublished - May 22 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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