The effect of octopamine on the locust stomatogastric nervous system

David Rand, Daniel Knebel, Amir Ayali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Octopamine (OA) is a prominent neuromodulator of invertebrate nervous systems, influencing multiple physiological processes. Among its many roles in insects are the initiation and maintenance of various rhythmic behaviors. Here, the neuromodulatory effects of OA on the components of the locust stomatogastric nervous system were studied, and one putative source of OA modulation of the system was identified. Bath application of OA was found to abolish the endogenous rhythmic output of the fully isolated frontal ganglion (FG), while stimulating motor activity of the fully isolated hypocerebral ganglion (HG). OA also induced rhythmic movements in a foregut preparation with intact HG innervation. Complex dose-dependent effects of OA on interconnected FG-HG preparations were seen: 10 -5M OA accelerated the rhythmic activity of both the HG and FG in a synchronized manner, while 10 -4M OA decreased both rhythms. Intracellular stimulation of an identified octopaminergic dorsal unpaired median neuron in the subesophageal ganglion was found to exert a similar effect on the FG motor output as that of OA application. Our findings suggest a mechanism of regulation of insect gut patterns and feeding-related behavior during stress and times of high energy demand.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 288
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Volume3 JUL
StatePublished - 2012


  • Central pattern generators
  • DUM neurons
  • Locust
  • Octopamine
  • Stomatogastric nervous system


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