Chemoreceptive control of feeding processes in hydra

Chem Senses. 1996 Jun;21(3):313-21. doi: 10.1093/chemse/21.3.313.


Cnidarians are the simplest metazoans to exhibit satiety after feeding. When hydra are fed to repletion, they close their mouths and cease to capture prey. As feeding stops, contractions of the tentacles and body column increase. Our earlier experiments showed that a gel chromatographic fraction of prey substances inhibits prey capture. We now present evidence that the same fraction reduces the duration of mouth opening induced by reduced glutathione (GSH) and inhibits the binding of GSH to its putative receptor. The fraction also induces column contractions which are similar to those normally seen in sated animals. Prey substances, of unfractionated homogenate, also induce post-feeding tentacle contractions similar to those seen in sated animals. Gut distention does not appear to induce behavior associated with satiety. Therefore, these experiments suggest that chemoreception of prey substances induce satiety in hydra.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artemia / physiology*
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / drug effects
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Glutathione / pharmacology
  • Predatory Behavior / drug effects
  • Predatory Behavior / physiology
  • Satiety Response / drug effects
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes


  • Sulfur Radioisotopes
  • Glutathione