Comparative pharmacology of feeding in molluscs

C. J.H. Elliott, A. Vehovszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


1. This paper reviews the role of transmitters in identified neurons of gastropod molluscs in generating and modulating fictive feeding. 2. In Lymnaea and Helisoma the 3 phase rhythm is generated by sets of interneurons which use acetylcholine for the N1 (protraction) phase, glutamate for the N2 (rasp) phase interneurons. The N3 interneurons are likely to use several different transmitters, of which one is octopamine. 3. In all the species examined, serotonin (5-HT) is released from giant cerebral cells. Other amines, including dopamine and octopamine, are present in the buccal ganglia and all these amines activate or enhance feeding. 4. Nitric oxide (NO), mostly originating from sensory processes, can also activate fictive feeding, but (at least in Lymnaea) may also be released centrally from buccal (B2) and cerebral neurons (CGC). 5. The central pattern generator for feeding is also modulated by peptides including APGWamide, SCP(B) and FMRFamide. 6. There is increasing evidence that most of these transmitters/modulators act on feeding neurons through second messenger systems - Allowing them to act as longer-lasting neuromodulators of the feeding network. 7. Many of the transmitters are used in similar ways by each of the gastropods examined so far, so that their function in the CNS seems to have been conserved through evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-163
Number of pages11
JournalActa biologica Hungarica
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 28 2000



  • Feeding
  • Gastropods
  • Monoamines
  • Neuropeptides
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Neurology

Cite this