Invertebrate Neuroscience

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 107–123 | Cite as

Molecular basis of the dopaminergic system in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus

  • Takayuki Watanabe
  • Hisayo Sadamoto
  • Hitoshi Aonuma
Original Paper


In insects, dopamine modulates various aspects of behavior such as learning and memory, arousal and locomotion, and is also a precursor of melanin. To elucidate the molecular basis of the dopaminergic system in the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus DeGeer, we identified genes involved in dopamine biosynthesis, signal transduction, and dopamine re-uptake in the cricket. Complementary DNA of two isoforms of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), which convert tyrosine into l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, was isolated from the cricket brain cDNA library. In addition, four dopamine receptor genes (Dop1, Dop2, Dop3, and DopEcR) and a high-affinity dopamine transporter gene were identified. The two TH isoforms contained isoform-specific regions in the regulatory ACT domain and showed differential expression patterns in different tissues. In addition, the dopamine receptor genes had a receptor subtype-specific distribution: the Dop1, Dop2, and DopEcR genes were broadly expressed in various tissues at differential expression levels, and the Dop3 gene was restrictedly expressed in neuronal tissues and the testicles. Our findings provide a fundamental basis for understanding the dopaminergic regulation of diverse physiological processes in the cricket.


Dopamine Tyrosine hydroxylase Dopamine receptors High-affinity dopamine transporter Gryllus bimaculatus 



We thank Dr. Miriam Henze (Lunds Universitet, Sweden) for reviewing. This research was partly supported by Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows to T. Watanabe, Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) from the MEXT, Scientific Research on Priority Areas (Area No. 454) to H. Aonuma (No. 17075001) and from the JSPS to H. Aonuma (No. 23300113).

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takayuki Watanabe
    • 1
  • Hisayo Sadamoto
    • 2
  • Hitoshi Aonuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Electronic ScienceHokkaido UniversityKitaku, SapporoJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Functional Biology, Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical SciencesTokushima Bunri UniversitySanukiJapan

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