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PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25371. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025371. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

Dopamine and octopamine influence avoidance learning of honey bees in a place preference assay.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Abstract

Biogenic amines are widely characterized in pathways evaluating reward and punishment, resulting in appropriate aversive or appetitive responses of vertebrates and invertebrates. We utilized the honey bee model and a newly developed spatial avoidance conditioning assay to probe effects of biogenic amines octopamine (OA) and dopamine (DA) on avoidance learning. In this new protocol non-harnessed bees associate a spatial color cue with mild electric shock punishment. After a number of experiences with color and shock the bees no longer enter the compartment associated with punishment. Intrinsic aspects of avoidance conditioning are associated with natural behavior of bees such as punishment (lack of food, explosive pollination mechanisms, danger of predation, heat, etc.) and their association to floral traits or other spatial cues during foraging. The results show that DA reduces the punishment received whereas octopamine OA increases the punishment received. These effects are dose-dependent and specific to the acquisition phase of training. The effects during acquisition are specific as shown in experiments using the antagonists Pimozide and Mianserin for DA and OA receptors, respectively. This study demonstrates the integrative role of biogenic amines in aversive learning in the honey bee as modeled in a novel non-appetitive avoidance learning assay.

PMID:
21980435
PMCID:
PMC3184138
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0025371
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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