undergrad Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, New York, United States
Shatema Small (Kingsborough Community College)| Mohamed Eid (Medgar Evers College)| Craig Hinkley (Kingsborough Community College)| Edward Catapane (Medgar Evers College)| Margaret Carroll (Medgar Evers College)
Gill lateral cells of Crassostrea virginica are innervated by dopamine and serotonin nerves. Dopamine slows down and stops gill lateral cell cilia beating rates and serotonin accelerates them. Dopamine receptors are classified as D1R and D2R, each with subtypes. Previous pharmacological, cell biology and immunofluorescence work of our lab found that the dopamine receptors involved in gill lateral cell cilia inhibition are D2R-like in the gill cells, while those in the cerebral and visceral ganglia are D1R-like. Our previous HPLC studies detected dopamine in various tissues, including gill, cerebral and visceral ganglia of Crassostrea virginica. Using immunofluorescence histochemistry techniques we showed the presence of dopamine neurons in the cerebral and visceral ganglia as well as D2R-like postsynaptic receptors in gill lateral cells and D1R-like postsynaptic receptors in the cerebral and visceral ganglia. Recently the genome of C. virginica and other bivalves have begun to be mapped. We hypothesize that C. virginica contains genes for dopamine receptors and that these receptors are similar to those found in other animals, including mammals and humans. We investigated this by conducting BLAST searches of the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) database using DNA and protein sequences of C. virginica D1R and D2R genes. We found gene matches for D1R genes located on chromosome 4 and 5, and D2R genes on chromosomes 3 and 5 of C. virginica. BLASTS of the receptors found matches with very low Expect Values (E values) and high Percent Identity, signifying high similarities of the D1R and D2R receptors of C. virginica to those in other bivalves, gastropods, insects mice, rats and humans. Various invertebrates had Percent Identity above 60%, while humans and mice had Percent Identity of about 40% for D1R, but only about 30% for D2R. This study complements our earlier physiology and cell biology studies demonstrating the presence and function for dopamine in C. virginica, and shows that the genome of C. virginica contains genes to produce dopamine receptors that are similar to those found in other animals. This new information is valuable as it shows that the simple nervous system of C. virginica can be used to expand studies on dopamine neurotransmission.