Effect of serotonin and calcium on the supercontractile muscles of the adult blowfly crop

A. Liscia, P. Solari, S. T. Gibbons, A. Gelperin, J. G. Stoffolano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Bioassays and electrophysiological recordings were conducted to determine the role of serotonin and calcium on the supercontractile pump muscles of the diverticulated crop of adult blowflies. Using in situ crop preparations, serotonin was found to significantly increase the rates of contractions of a specific pump in the crop wall, pump P4. The addition of the serotonin antagonist, mianserin, or calcium free saline, both significantly reduced the contraction rates of this pump. Recordings, using suction electrodes from pump P4, confirm the in situ bioassay data and show that serotonin promotes muscle activity in empty crops in which no pump activity is normally observed. Moreover, our data indicate the crucial role of extracellular calcium ions in crop pump contractile activity. These results provide new information on how the crop of adult dipterans is modulated and suggest that serotonin, possibly supplied by neurons in the thoracico-abdominal neural plexus, may be involved in modulating the pumping of crop contents into the midgut for digestion or triggering antiperistalsis from the foregut in the process known as regurgitation or 'bubbling'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-366
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Insect Science
  • Physiology


  • Calcium dependence
  • Crop pump P4
  • Dipteran crop
  • EGTA
  • Mianserin
  • Serotonin
  • Supercontractile muscles


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