Octopaminergic modulation of the membrane currents in the central feeding system of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis

Ágnes Vehovszky, A. Szucs, Henriette Szabo, Samantha Pitt, C. J.H. Elliott

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Octopamine is released by the intrinsic OC interneurons in the paired buccal ganglia and serves both as a neurotransmitter and a neuromodulator in the central feeding network of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis [19]. The identified B1 buccal motoneuron receives excitatory inputs from the OC interneurons and is more excitable in the presence of 10 μM octopamine in the bath. This modulatory effect of octopamine on the B1 motoneuron was studied using the two electrode voltage clamp method. In normal physiological saline depolarising voltage steps from the holding potential of-80 mV evoke a transient inward current, presumably carried by Na+ ions. The peak values of this inward current are increased in the presence of 10 μM octopamine in the bath. In contrast, both the transient (IA) and delayed (I K) outward currents are unaffected by octopamine application. Replacing the normal saline with a Na+-free bathing solution containing K+ channel blockers (50 mM TEAC1, 4 mM 4AP) revealed the presence of an additional inward current of the B1 neurons, carried by Ca 2+. Octopamine (10 μM) in the bath decreased the amplitudes of this current. These results suggest that the membrane mechanisms which underlie the modulatory effect of octopamine on the B1 motoneuron include selective changes of the Na+- and Ca2+-channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
JournalActa biologica Hungarica
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 9 2004



  • Lymnaea
  • Membrane current
  • Modulation
  • Octopamine
  • Voltage clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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