Acta Biologica Hungarica

, Volume 55, Issue 1–4, pp 3–12 | Cite as

Neuromodulatory Octopaminergic Neurons and Their Functions During Insect Motor Behaviour

The Ernst Florey Memory Lecture
  • H.-J. PflüGerEmail author
  • C. Duch
  • E. Heidel


In this article we describe recent advances in functional studies on the role of octopamine released in the periphery by efferent dorsal or ventral unpaired median neurons. In addition to the previously described modulatory effects on the neuromuscular junction, we describe a metabolic regulatory role for these neurons. Due to their activity glycolytic rates in target tissues, such as muscles, are increased. In flight muscles that use carbohydrate catabolism only at take-off but have to switch to lipid oxidation during prolonged flight, these neurons are only active at rest but are inhibited as soon as flight motor patterns are selected.


Locusts unpaired median neurons flight signalling pathways metabolism 


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2004

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freie Universität Berlin, FB BCPInstitut für Biologie, NeurobiologieBerlinGermany

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