Serotonergic mechanisms mediating spawning and oocyte maturation in the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha

Jeffrey L. Ram, Peter P. Fong, Keiichiro Kyozuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is a freshwater biofouling bivalve unintentionally introduced in the 1980s into North America from Europe. Oocyte maturation (germinal vesicle breakdown, GVBD) and spawning of the zebra mussel can be triggered with serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT). In pharmacological experiments to characterize the receptor mediating spawning, the serotonin receptor agonists 8-OH-DPAT, TFMPP, and 1-(1 -naphthyl)piperazine were effective at stimulating spawning; whereas, 2-methylserotonin and alpha-methylserotonin had no effect. In experiments with antagonists of serotonin receptors ketanserin and propranolol had no effect; mianserin, NAN-190, and cyproheptadine had partial inhibitory effects; and methiothepin was a very effective antagonist. Metergoline had mixed agonist/antagonist properties. Ergotamine was the most effective activator of spawning in females. Compared to serotonergic receptors in other organisms, the receptors that activate spawning in zebra mussels resemble SHTlym, 5HTdro2 and human SHTIDβ, which are receptors that may act both by inhibiting adenylyl cyclase and by activating phospholipase C. In zebra mussels, 5-HT and 8-OH-DPAT activate GVBD in gonad fragments, a process also initiated by manual dissection of gonad fragments. GVBD can be inhibited by pre-treatment of ovaries with forskolin and theophylline, suggesting an inhibitory role for cyclic AMP. The Ca2+ ionophore A23187 can trigger GVBD and polar body formation. Thus, oocyte maturation in zebra mussels may be initiated via serotonergic receptors simultaneously inhibiting adenylyl cyclase and activating Ca2+ mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalInvertebrate Reproduction and Development
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jan 1


  • Cyclic AMP
  • Dreissena polymorpha
  • Ergotamine
  • Germinal vesicle breakdown
  • Serotonin
  • Spawning
  • Zebra mussels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Serotonergic mechanisms mediating spawning and oocyte maturation in the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this