Peptidergic co-transmission in Aplysia: functional implications for rhythmic behaviors

Experientia. 1992 May 15;48(5):456-63. doi: 10.1007/BF01928164.


Despite their ubiquitous presence in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the behavioral functions of peptide co-transmitters remain to be elucidated. The marine mollusc Aplysia, whose simple nervous system facilitates the study of the neural basis of behavior, was used to investigate the role of peptidergic co-transmission in feeding behavior. Several novel modulatory neuropeptides were purified, and localized to identified cholinergic motorneurons. Physiological and biochemical studies demonstrated that these peptides are released when the motorneurons fire at frequencies that occur during normal behavior, and that the peptides modify the relationship between muscle contraction amplitude and relaxation rate so as to maintain optimal motor output when the intensity and frequency of feeding behavior change.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Aplysia / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Neuropeptides / chemistry
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*


  • Neuropeptides