Evolutionary origin of the neuroendocrine system revealed by the “prototype brain” in the protostome–deuterostome ancestor, urbilaterian-like flatworms

A research group led by Associate Professor Hirotaka Sakamoto (Neuroendocrinology) of the Faculty of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, has discovered a neuropeptide homologous to a mammalian neuropeptide from marine flatworms and published their findings in a paper. An international research team including researchers from JAMBIO members; Ushimado (Okayama University), Noto (Kanazawa University) and Oki (Shimane University) in collaboration with the University of Auckland/Otago in New Zealand and the University of Oxford in U.K. has identified a homologous peptide of the posterior pituitary hormone vasopressin/oxytocin from marine Platyhelminthes. This is related to a key component of the vertebrate neuroendocrine system.
The “vasopressin/oxytocin” peptide was named the platytocin system after its discovery in Platyhelminthes. We found that the platytocin system functions as an antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) in Platyhelminthes as it does in mammals. These results are expected to elucidate the evolutionary origin of the neuroendocrine system, which has been unknown until now.

The paper information is as follows;
Vasopressin-oxytocin-type signaling is ancient and has a conserved water homeostasis role in euryhaline marine planarians Evolutionary Origins of Antidiuretic Hormones Revealed from the Platyhelminth Flatworm” Publication in Science Advances by: Aoshi Kobayashi, Mayuko Hamada, Masa-aki Yoshida, Yasuhisa Kobayashi, Naoaki Tsutsui, Toshio Sekiguchi, Yuta Matsukawa, Sho Maejima, Joseph J. Gingell, Shoko Sekiguchi, Ayumu Hamamoto, Debbie L. Hay, John F. Morris Tatsuya Sakamoto and Hirotaka Sakamoto* (responsible authors) Science Advances 8(9): eabk0331. (2022)
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abk0331