Seasonal and activity-dependent changes of the serotonin level in the C.N.S. and heart of the snail (Helix Pomatia L.)

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1. There is seasonal variation in the 5HT level of the central nervous system and heart of the snail, Helic pomatia L.: in active animals the 5HT content is higher in the cerebral ganglia, auricle, and ventricle in the autumn than at spring, while this pattern is reversed in the suboesophageal ganglion. 2. Snails kept in dry conditions at room temperature fall into a state of rest. Under such conditions an increase of the 5HT level was observed in the C.N.S. and heart both in the summer as well as in the winter; the question remains as to what results from the decrease of the 5HT utilization during the resting state of the animal. 3. There is a different seasonal variation of the 5HT level in snails kept in a refrigerator: during the first winter months the 5HT level of the ganglia increases; this is followed by a decrease, while in the summer an initial decrease with subsequent increase is observed. The 5HT content of the heart showed an initial decrease both during the winter and the summer. 4. Arousal of the snails from hibernation in winter causes a decrease of the serotonin level of the ganglia. On cooling these animals again, the 5HT level increases only to a moderate degree. 5. The variations of the 5HT level in snails can be considered partly as the consequence of the change of the activity, but on the other hand the serotonin level can play a role in the determination of the activity of the animal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
JournalComparative and General Pharmacology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1973



  • C.N.S.
  • Helix pomatia
  • Mollusca
  • heart
  • hibernation
  • seasonal changes
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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