It has been observed that 5-HT excites the heart nerves in hard clam and regulates contraction and relaxation of the anterior byssus retractor muscle in the blue mussel. It is now known that 5-HT regulates several neurobehavioral systems such as mood, appetite, sleep, learning, and memory. It also plays critical roles in the physiological functions of peripheral organs involved in stress, growth, and reproduction in the animal kingdom. The present study reviews conserved 5-HT biosynthesis and its localization in the nervous system, and its physiological contribution to regulate reproduction in bivalves. In the cytosol of neurons, tryptophan hydroxylase catalyzes hydroxylation of l-tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is converted to 5-HT by aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase. A 5-HT transporter and a monoamine oxidase reuptakes and metabolizes 5-HT to control the amount of released 5-HT in the nervous system and peripheral organs. Perikarya and fibers of 5-HT neurons are mostly located in the cortices and neuropil of ganglia, respectively, and innervate the gonad. However, distribution and 5-HT content differ among species and sexes and undergo seasonal variations associated with gonadal development. The present review pays a special attention to future research perspectives to better understand 5-HT regulation of reproduction in bivalves.
Part of the book: Serotonin