Neuropharmacology and behavior in planarians: Translations to mammals

Francesca R. Buttarelli, Clelia Pellicano, Francesco E. Pontieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Planarians are the simplest animals to exhibit a body plan common to all vertebrates and many invertebrates, characterized by bilateral rather than radial symmetry, dorsal and ventral surfaces, and a rostrocaudal axis with a head and a tail, including specialized sense organs and an aggregate of nerve cells in the head. Neurons in planarian more closely resemble those of vertebrates than those of advanced invertebrates, exhibiting typical vertebrate features of multipolar shape, dendritic spines with synaptic boutons, a single axon, expression of vertebrate-like neural proteins, and relatively low spontaneously generated electrical activity. Here we report the most relevant contribution to the knowledge of the neuropharmacology of planarians, with particular reference to the behavioral consequences of the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. Neurochemical and histochemical data indicate the presence of several neurotransmitter-receptor systems in planarians. Moreover, a variety of experimental studies characterized specific behavioral patterns of these animals following the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. There is also evidence of the interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems in modulating behavior in planarians. Finally, the model has proved efficacy for investigating the neurotoxicology of the dopamine neurons, and for the initial screening of the neuroprotective potential of drugs. In conclusion, these findings indicate that interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems occur very early along phylogeny, although they may have evolved from very fundamental behaviors, such as motor activity in planarian, to more complex and integrated functions in vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Volume147
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

Fingerprint

Planarians
Neuropharmacology
Neurotransmitter Receptor
Mammals
Neurons
Vertebrates
Animals
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Invertebrates
Synaptic Transmission
Dopamine
Screening
Sense Organs
Dendritic Spines
Dopaminergic Neurons
Presynaptic Terminals
Neuroprotective Agents
Phylogeny
Axons
Tail

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Evolution
  • Neural transmission
  • Planarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

@article{fa06c83753fc4c4d8b052c3c9d1a586c,
title = "Neuropharmacology and behavior in planarians: Translations to mammals",
abstract = "Planarians are the simplest animals to exhibit a body plan common to all vertebrates and many invertebrates, characterized by bilateral rather than radial symmetry, dorsal and ventral surfaces, and a rostrocaudal axis with a head and a tail, including specialized sense organs and an aggregate of nerve cells in the head. Neurons in planarian more closely resemble those of vertebrates than those of advanced invertebrates, exhibiting typical vertebrate features of multipolar shape, dendritic spines with synaptic boutons, a single axon, expression of vertebrate-like neural proteins, and relatively low spontaneously generated electrical activity. Here we report the most relevant contribution to the knowledge of the neuropharmacology of planarians, with particular reference to the behavioral consequences of the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. Neurochemical and histochemical data indicate the presence of several neurotransmitter-receptor systems in planarians. Moreover, a variety of experimental studies characterized specific behavioral patterns of these animals following the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. There is also evidence of the interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems in modulating behavior in planarians. Finally, the model has proved efficacy for investigating the neurotoxicology of the dopamine neurons, and for the initial screening of the neuroprotective potential of drugs. In conclusion, these findings indicate that interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems occur very early along phylogeny, although they may have evolved from very fundamental behaviors, such as motor activity in planarian, to more complex and integrated functions in vertebrates.",
keywords = "Behavior, Evolution, Neural transmission, Planarian",
author = "Buttarelli, {Francesca R.} and Clelia Pellicano and Pontieri, {Francesco E.}",
year = "2008",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.cbpc.2008.01.009",
language = "English",
volume = "147",
pages = "399--408",
journal = "Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Pharmacology Toxicology and Endocrinology",
issn = "0742-8413",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neuropharmacology and behavior in planarians

T2 - Translations to mammals

AU - Buttarelli, Francesca R.

AU - Pellicano, Clelia

AU - Pontieri, Francesco E.

PY - 2008/5

Y1 - 2008/5

N2 - Planarians are the simplest animals to exhibit a body plan common to all vertebrates and many invertebrates, characterized by bilateral rather than radial symmetry, dorsal and ventral surfaces, and a rostrocaudal axis with a head and a tail, including specialized sense organs and an aggregate of nerve cells in the head. Neurons in planarian more closely resemble those of vertebrates than those of advanced invertebrates, exhibiting typical vertebrate features of multipolar shape, dendritic spines with synaptic boutons, a single axon, expression of vertebrate-like neural proteins, and relatively low spontaneously generated electrical activity. Here we report the most relevant contribution to the knowledge of the neuropharmacology of planarians, with particular reference to the behavioral consequences of the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. Neurochemical and histochemical data indicate the presence of several neurotransmitter-receptor systems in planarians. Moreover, a variety of experimental studies characterized specific behavioral patterns of these animals following the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. There is also evidence of the interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems in modulating behavior in planarians. Finally, the model has proved efficacy for investigating the neurotoxicology of the dopamine neurons, and for the initial screening of the neuroprotective potential of drugs. In conclusion, these findings indicate that interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems occur very early along phylogeny, although they may have evolved from very fundamental behaviors, such as motor activity in planarian, to more complex and integrated functions in vertebrates.

AB - Planarians are the simplest animals to exhibit a body plan common to all vertebrates and many invertebrates, characterized by bilateral rather than radial symmetry, dorsal and ventral surfaces, and a rostrocaudal axis with a head and a tail, including specialized sense organs and an aggregate of nerve cells in the head. Neurons in planarian more closely resemble those of vertebrates than those of advanced invertebrates, exhibiting typical vertebrate features of multipolar shape, dendritic spines with synaptic boutons, a single axon, expression of vertebrate-like neural proteins, and relatively low spontaneously generated electrical activity. Here we report the most relevant contribution to the knowledge of the neuropharmacology of planarians, with particular reference to the behavioral consequences of the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. Neurochemical and histochemical data indicate the presence of several neurotransmitter-receptor systems in planarians. Moreover, a variety of experimental studies characterized specific behavioral patterns of these animals following the exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. There is also evidence of the interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems in modulating behavior in planarians. Finally, the model has proved efficacy for investigating the neurotoxicology of the dopamine neurons, and for the initial screening of the neuroprotective potential of drugs. In conclusion, these findings indicate that interactions between discrete neurotransmitter-receptor systems occur very early along phylogeny, although they may have evolved from very fundamental behaviors, such as motor activity in planarian, to more complex and integrated functions in vertebrates.

KW - Behavior

KW - Evolution

KW - Neural transmission

KW - Planarian

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=41449098537&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=41449098537&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cbpc.2008.01.009

DO - 10.1016/j.cbpc.2008.01.009

M3 - Article

C2 - 18294919

AN - SCOPUS:41449098537

VL - 147

SP - 399

EP - 408

JO - Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Pharmacology Toxicology and Endocrinology

JF - Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Pharmacology Toxicology and Endocrinology

SN - 0742-8413

IS - 4

ER -