Enhancement by serotonin of the growth in vitro of antennal lobe neurons of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta

Alison R. Mercer, Barbara S. Kirchhof, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


Cell culture experiments have been used to examine the effects of serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] on the morphological development of antennal lobe (AL) neurons in the brain of the sphinx moth, Manduca sexta. The majority of cells used in this study were from animals at stage 5 of the 18 stages of metamorphic adult development. 5-HT did not affect the survival of M. sexta AL neurons in culture, but did increase the numbers of cells displaying features characteristic of certain cell types. Three morphologically distinct cell types were examined in detail. The principal effect of 5-HT on these neurons was enhancement of cell growth. The magnitude of responses to this amine was cell-type specific. Site-specific responses to 5-HT were apparent also in one cell type. Our results suggest that the effects of 5-HT can change during the course of metamorphic development. These changes coincide temporally with the development of fast, sodium-based action potentials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996



  • 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • development
  • neuromodulation
  • olfactory lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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