González A, Marín O, Smeets WJ (1995) Development of catecholamine systems in the central nervous system of the newt Pleurodeles waltlii as revealed by tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry.J Comp Neurol 360: 33-48
The aim of the present study was to extend our knowledge of the development of catecholamine (CA) systems in the class of amphibians to the order of urodeles. In contrast to previous studies of urodeles, the present study with antisera against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine revealed that CA systems are already present at early embryonic stages of the newt, Pleurodeles waltlii. Although the development from fertilized egg to juvenile in the urodele Pleurodeles lasts twice as long as that in the anuran, Xenopus laevis, and shows less dramatic changes in external morphology, the spatiotemporal sequence of appearance of TH-immunoreactive cell groups is rather similar. An early appearance of TH-immunoreactive cell bodies occurs in the olfactory bulb, the posterior tubercle, the accompanying cell group of the hypothalamic periventricular organ, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the locus coeruleus, an area immediately ventral to the central canal of the spinal cord, and in the retina. Somewhat later, immunoreactive cells are detected in the posterior thalamic nucleus and in the rostral portion of the midbrain tegmentum, whereas the preoptic cell group is the last one to become TH immunoreactive. The presence of CA systems at early embryonic stages of both anurans and urodeles suggests that these systems are already of functional significance early in development. The maturation of CA neuronal structures in the olfactory and retinal circuitries, which takes place during development earlier in amphibians than in mammals, supports that notion.