Aminergic and peptidergic modulation of motor function at an identified neuromuscular junction in Helisoma. Academic Article uri icon


  • Electrophysiological studies suggest that motoneurone B19 in the buccal ganglia of Helisoma makes monosynaptic, cholinergic connections with the supralateral radular tensor (SLT) muscle of the buccal mass. Serotonin (5-HT) and small cardioactive peptide B (SCPB) were found to have peripheral modulatory effects on this motor pathway that are consistent with their previously described central facilitatory effects. Both neurotransmitters, when applied exogenously (10(-6) mol l-1) to isolated buccal ganglion-buccal muscle preparations, potentiated the magnitude of motoneurone B19-evoked muscle contractions (6.3 and 2.7 times, respectively) without affecting excitatory junctional potential (EJP) amplitudes. When applied to single dissociated SLT muscle fibres in cell culture, these modulators had similar effects on acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked muscle fibre shortening, demonstrating that these neuromodulators exert direct actions on the muscle cells. The cardioactive peptide FMRFamide (10(-6) mol l-1), although slightly potentiating muscle contractions in reduced neuromuscular preparations, significantly decreased both ACh-evoked muscle fibre shortening and depolarizing potentials in cultured SLT muscle cells. The differential effects of FMRFamide may, in part, be due to the elimination of interactive effects between multiple neurotransmitters that might exist in semi-intact preparations and in vivo. These results demonstrate that 5-HT, SCPB and FMRFamide in Helisoma can directly modulate the peripheral muscle targets of buccal motoneurones involved in the generation of cyclical feeding behaviour.

author list (cited authors)

  • Zoran, M. J., Haydon, P. G., & Matthews, P. J.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Zoran, MJ||Haydon, PG||Matthews, PJ

publication date

  • March 1989