Development Genes and Evolution

, Volume 215, Issue 12, pp 631–638 | Cite as

AmphiD1/β, a dopamine D1/β-adrenergic receptor from the amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae: evolutionary aspects of the catecholaminergic system during development

  • Simona Candiani
  • Diana Oliveri
  • Manuela Parodi
  • Patrizio Castagnola
  • Mario PestarinoEmail author
Short Communication


Catecholamine receptors mediate wide-ranging functions in vertebrates and invertebrates but are largely unknown in invertebrate chordates such as amphioxus. Catecholaminergic cells have been described in amphioxus adults, but few data are known about the transmembrane signal transduction pathways and the expression pattern of related receptors during development. In Branchiostoma floridae, we cloned a full-length cDNA (AmphiD1/β) that corresponds to the dopamine D1/β receptor previously cloned from a related species of amphioxus, Branchiostoma lanceolatum, but no expression studies have been performed for such receptor in amphioxus. In B. floridae, AmphiD1/β encodes a polypeptide with typical G-protein-coupled receptor features, characterized by highest sequence similarity with D1 dopamine and β-adrenergic receptors. The expression of AmphiD1/β mRNA in different regions of the cerebral vesicle corresponds to that of D1-like receptors in vertebrate homologous structures. Furthermore, in situ experiments show that during development, the expression in the nervous system is restricted to cells located anteriorly. A further expression was found in larvae at the level of the endostyle, but it has no counterpart in the predominant expression domains of vertebrate dopamine and/or adrenergic receptor genes. At the same time, we compared the dopaminergic system, consisting of AmphiTH-expressing cells, with the AmphiD1/β expression. In conclusion, the identification of the AmphiD1/β receptor provides further basis for understanding the evolutionary history of the dopaminergic system at the transition from invertebrates and vertebrates.


Dopamine and adrenergic receptors Tyrosine hydroxylase Developmental expression Branchiostoma floridae Central nervous system 



We thank Skip Pierce and John M. Lawrence (Department of Biology, USF, Tampa, FL) for the use of laboratory space and equipment; Ray Martinez and Marilyn Wetzel (Department of Biology, USF) for logistic support; Nick Holland (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA) for helpful comments on the manuscript; and Jr-Kai Yu (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) for bioinformatics support. This research was supported by MIUR-PRIN research grants.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simona Candiani
    • 1
  • Diana Oliveri
    • 1
  • Manuela Parodi
    • 1
  • Patrizio Castagnola
    • 2
  • Mario Pestarino
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimentodi BiologiaUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul CancroGenovaItaly

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