The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis moves along the sides and bottom of an aquarium, but it can also glide upside down on its back below the water's surface. We have termed these two forms of locomotion "standard locomotion" and "upside-down gliding," respectively. Previous studies showed that standard locomotion is produced by both cilia activity on the foot and peristaltic contraction of the foot muscles, whereas upside-down gliding is mainly caused by cilia activity. The pedal A neurons are thought to receive excitatory octopaminergic input, which ultimately results in increased cilia beating. However, the relationship between locomotory speed and the responses of these neurons to octopamine is not known. We thus examined the effects of both an agonist and an antagonist of octopamine receptors on locomotory speed and the firing rate of the pedal A neurons. We also examined, at the electron and light-microscopic levels, whether structural changes occur in cilia following the application of either an agonist or an antagonist of octopamine receptors to the central nervous system (CNS). We found that the application of an octopamine antagonist to the CNS increased the speed of both forms of locomotion, whereas application of octopamine increased only the ?ring rate of the pedal A neurons. Microscopic examination of the cilia proved that there were no changes in their morphology after application of octopamine ligands. These data suggest that there is an unidenti?ed octopaminergic neuronal network in the CNS whose acti-vation reduces cilia movement and thus locomotory speed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)