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J Comp Neurol. 2005 Jul 25;488(2):129-39.

Nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate signaling in the central complex of the grasshopper brain inhibits singing behavior.

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Institute of Zoology, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.


Grasshopper sound production, in the context of mate finding, courtship, and rivalry, is controlled by the central body complex in the protocerebrum. Stimulation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the central complex has been demonstrated to stimulate specific singing in various grasshoppers including the species Chorthippus biguttulus. Sound production elicited by stimulation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the central complex is inhibited by co-applications of various drugs activating the nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling pathway. The nitric oxide-donor sodium nitroprusside caused a reversible suppression of muscarine-stimulated sound production that could be blocked by 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo-[4,3-a]quinoxaline-1-one (ODQ), which prevents the formation of cGMP by specifically inhibiting soluble guanylyl cyclase. Furthermore, injections of both the membrane-permeable cGMP analog 8-Br-cGMP and the specific inhibitor of the cGMP-degrading phosphodiesterase Zaprinast reversibly inhibited singing. To identify putative sources of nitric oxide, brains of Ch. biguttulus were subjected to both nitric oxide synthase immunocytochemistry and NADPH-diaphorase staining. Among other areas known to express nitric oxide synthase, both procedures consistently labeled peripheral layers in the upper division of the central body complex, suggesting that neurons supplying this neuropil contain nitric oxide synthase and may generate nitric oxide upon activation. Exposure of dissected brains to nitric oxide and 3-(5'hydroxymethyl-2'-furyl)-1-benzyl indazole (YC-1) induced cGMP-associated immunoreactivity in both the upper and lower division. Therefore, both the morphological and pharmacological data presented in this study strongly suggest a contribution of the nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway to the central control of grasshopper sound production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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