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Catecholamines modulate metamorphosis in the opisthobranch gastropod Phestilla sibogae
Pires, A.; Croll, R.P.; Hadfield, M.G. (2000). Catecholamines modulate metamorphosis in the opisthobranch gastropod Phestilla sibogae. Biol. Bull. 198: 319-331
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Pires, A.
  • Croll, R.P.
  • Hadfield, M.G.

    Larvae of the nudibranch Phestilla sibogae are induced to metamorphose by a factor from their adult prey, the coral Porites compressa. Levels of endogenous catecholamines increase 6 to 9 days after fertilization, when larvae become competent for metamorphosis. Six- to nine-day larvae, treated with the catecholamine precursor L-DOPA (0.01 mM for 0.5 h), were assayed for metamorphosis in response to coral inducer and for catecholamine content by high-performance liquid chromatography. L-DOPA treatment caused 20- to 50-fold increases in dopamine, with proportionally greater increases in younger larvae, so that L-DOPA-treated larvae of all ages contained similar levels of dopamine. A much smaller (about twofold) increase in norepinephrine occurred in all larvae. The treatment significantly potentiated the frequency of metamorphosis of 7- to 9-d larvae at low concentrations of inducer. In addition, L-DOPA treatment at 9 d increased aldehyde-induced fluorescence in cells that were also labeled in the controls, and revealed additional cells. However, all labeled cells were consistent with the locations of cells showing tyrosine-hydroxylase-like immunoreactivity. Catecholamines are likely to modulate metamorphosis in P. sibogae, but rising levels of catecholamines around the time of competence are insufficient alone to account for sensitivity to inducer in competent larvae.

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