Phallusia mammillata larvae and effects of 5-HT antagonists during larval development
Serotonin localization in
The neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) plays an important role in a wide range of non-neural processes. Using immunofluorescence with an antiserotonin antibody, 5-HT was localized in the brain and in some neurons of the larval tail of Phallusia mammillata. To test the effect of 5-HT on development, we treated embryos with two different 5-HT receptor subtype antagonists. Treatment at the gastrula stage with 10 μM ondansetron, an antagonist of the 5-HT3 receptor, induced anterior truncation and a short tail. At 10 μM, ritanserin, a 5-HT2B receptor antagonist, induced larval phenotypes characterized by a roundish trunk region with flat papillae. The juveniles developed from these larvae had an abnormal cardiocirculatory system: their heart contractions were ineffective and their blood cells accumulated in the heart cavity. We conclude that an appropriate level of 5-HT is necessary for correct development and morphogenesis. Moreover, a different key role for multiple receptors in modulating the morphogenetic effects of 5-HT is suggested.