Novelty stress and reproductive state alters responsiveness to sensory stimuli and 5-HT neuromodulation in crayfish

Maurice Pierre Pagé, Robin L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Sensory stimuli can produce varied responses depending on the physiological state of an animal. Stressors and reproductive stage can result in altered biochemical status that changes the responsiveness of an animal to hormones and neuromodulators, which affects whole animal behavior in relation to sensory stimuli. Crayfish serve as a model for examining the effects of neuromodulators at the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and for alterations in stereotypic behaviors for particular stimuli. Thus, we used crayfish to examine the effect of novelty stressors in males and the effect of being gravid in female crayfish to exogenous application of serotonin (5-HT). The responsiveness of neuromuscular junctions to 5-HT revealed that stressed as well as gravid crayfish have a reduced response to 5-HT at NMJs. The stressed crayfish were not fatigued since the basal synaptic responses are large and still showed a pronounced response to 5-HT. Using intact animals to examine a tail flip behavior, we showed that the rate of habituation in tail flipping to a strong repetitive stimulus on the telson is reduced in stressed males. Gravid females show no tail flipping behavior upon telson stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-158
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support was provided by a G. Ribble Fellowship for undergraduate studies in the Department of Biology at the University of Kentucky (M-P.P.) and in part by NSF grants IBN-9808631 and ILI DUE-9850907 (R.L.C.). Appreciation is given to Mr. Andy Johnstone for critical editing and suggestions on the manuscript.


  • Behavior
  • Crayfish
  • Crustacean
  • Neuromodulation
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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