Temperature sensitivity of the pyloric neuromuscular system and its modulation by dopamine

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 28;8(6):e67930. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067930. Print 2013.


We report here the effects of temperature on the p1 neuromuscular system of the stomatogastric system of the lobster (Panulirus interruptus). Muscle force generation, in response to both the spontaneously rhythmic in vitro pyloric network neural activity and direct, controlled motor nerve stimulation, dramatically decreased as temperature increased, sufficiently that stomach movements would very unlikely be maintained at warm temperatures. However, animals fed in warm tanks showed statistically identical food digestion to those in cold tanks. Applying dopamine, a circulating hormone in crustacea, increased muscle force production at all temperatures and abolished neuromuscular system temperature dependence. Modulation may thus exist not only to increase the diversity of produced behaviors, but also to maintain individual behaviors when environmental conditions (such as temperature) vary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine / pharmacology*
  • Environment
  • Muscles / drug effects*
  • Muscles / innervation*
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Nerve Net / drug effects*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Palinuridae / drug effects
  • Palinuridae / physiology
  • Pylorus / drug effects*
  • Pylorus / innervation*
  • Pylorus / physiology
  • Temperature


  • Dopamine