Invertebrate Neuroscience

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 215–220 | Cite as

Octopamine boosts snail locomotion: behavioural and cellular analysis

  • Jennifer C. Ormshaw
  • Christopher J. H. Elliott
Short Communication


We measured the reduction in locomotion of unrestrained pond snails, Lymnaea stagnalis, subsequent to transdermal application of two selective octopamine antagonists, epinastine and phentolamine. After 3 h in fresh standard snail water following treatment with 4 mM epinastine or 3.5 mM phentolamine, the snails’ speed was reduced to 25 and 56% of the controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.02, respectively). The snails’ speed decreased as the drug concentration increased. In the isolated CNS, 0.5 mM octopamine increased the firing rate of the pedal A cluster motoneurons, which innervate the cilia of the foot. In normal saline the increase was 26% and in a high magnesium/low calcium saline 22% (P < 0.05 and 0.01, respectively). We conclude that octopamine is likely to modulate snail locomotion, partially through effects on pedal motoneurons.


Lymnaea Epinastine Phentolamine Pedal ganglion Movement 



We are grateful to Agnes Vehovszky for reading a draft of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer C. Ormshaw
    • 1
  • Christopher J. H. Elliott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkYork UK

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