Molecular and pharmacological properties of insect biogenic amine receptors: lessons from Drosophila melanogaster and Apis mellifera

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2001 Sep;48(1):13-38. doi: 10.1002/arch.1055.


In the central nervous system (CNS) of both vertebrates and invertebrates, biogenic amines are important neuroactive molecules. Physiologically, they can act as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, or neurohormones. Biogenic amines control and regulate various vital functions including circadian rhythms, endocrine secretion, cardiovascular control, emotions, as well as learning and memory. In insects, amines like dopamine, tyramine, octopamine, serotonin, and histamine exert their effects by binding to specific membrane proteins that primarily belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors. Especially in Drosophila melanogaster and Apis mellifera considerable progress has been achieved during the last few years towards the understanding of the functional role of these receptors and their intracellular signaling systems. In this review, the present knowledge on the biochemical, molecular, and pharmacological properties of biogenic amine receptors from Drosophila and Apis will be summarized. Arch.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bees / metabolism
  • Biogenic Amines / biosynthesis
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Octopamine / metabolism
  • Receptors, Biogenic Amine / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Dopamine / metabolism
  • Receptors, Histamine / metabolism
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tyramine / metabolism


  • Biogenic Amines
  • Receptors, Biogenic Amine
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Receptors, Histamine
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Octopamine
  • Tyramine