Neurobiology of the Leech

Hirudo medicinalis

The medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis has been of great help to humans throughout history. In the field of medicine, as well as in the field of neurobiology Many neurobiological studies have been carried out on Hirudo medicinalis, mainly with the purpose of understanding the structure and physiology of the cells in its nervous system.

Click here for a brief description of the leech, including morphological features, as well as a short description of its nervous system, involving cellular organization, and physiological properties.

The pictures presented here, are leech neurons that have been stained using the iontophoresis of lucifer yellow Most of them are P and R cells. An explanation is given with each picture.

This work has been done with the purpose of expanding our understanding of the morphology as well as the physiology of these nerve cells. It is our goal that the people interested in this subject, will access the information. For comments and suggestions e-mail Dr. Gordon Atkins.