|Shimoyama S, Inoue T, Kashima M, Agata K (2016)
Multiple Neuropeptide-Coding Genes Involved in Planarian Pharynx Extension.
Zoological Science (Tokyo) 33(3): 311-319
Abstract / Notes"Planarian feeding behavior involves three steps: moving toward food, extending the pharynx from their planarian's ventral side after arriving at the food, and ingesting the food through the pharynx. Although pharynx extension is a remarkable behavior, it remains unknown what neuronal cell types are involved in its regulation. To identify neurons involved in regulating pharynx extension, we quantitatively analyzed pharynx extension and sought to identify these neurons by RNA interference (RNAi) and in situ hybridization. This assay, when performed using planarians with amputation of various body parts, clearly showed that the head portion is indispensable for inducing pharynx extension. We thus tested the effects of knockdown of brain neurons such as serotonergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic neurons by RNAi, but did not observe any effects on pharynx extension behavior. However, animals with RNAi of the Prohormone Convertase 2 (PC2, a neuropeptide processing enzyme) gene did not perform the pharynx extension behavior, suggesting the possible involvement of neuropeptide(s in the regulation of pharynx extension. We screened 24 neuropeptide-coding genes, analyzed their functions by RNAi using the pharynx extension assay system, and identified at least five neuropeptide genes involved in pharynx extension. These was expressed in different cells or neurons, and some of them were expressed in the brain, suggesting complex regulation of planarian feeding behavior by the nervous system."
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