Studies of dopamine pharmacology in molluscs.
Dopamine has been established as a putative neurotransmitter in several species of molluscs. Biochemical and neurophysiological studies of the cellular pharmacology of dopamine have revealed several properties of molluscan dopamine receptors. The biochemical synthesis and degredation of dopamine in molluscs follows the same pathways that have been described in mammals. Adenylate cyclase is present, and the receptor mediating CAMP production is blocked by neuroleptics and certain ergot alkaloids. Studies of this enzyme and of radioligand binding indicate that molluscan dopamine receptors and serotonin receptors share certain characteristics. Neurophysiological studies have shown that dopamine induces several forms of ionic conductance changes in molluscan neurons. The receptors mediating these conductance changes may be differentiated pharmacologically. Neuroleptics are antagonists at certain receptors and ergot alkaloids have been shown to be either partial agonists or antagonists. Present evidence indicates that molluscan and mammalian CNS dopamine receptors have some similarities. However, further biochemical and neurophysiological investigations will be necessary to fully characterize molluscan dopamine receptors.
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