Can crayfish take the heat? Procambarus clarkii show nociceptive behaviour to high temperature stimuli, but not low temperature or chemical stimuli Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Nociceptors are sensory neurons that are tuned to tissue damage. In many species, nociceptors are often stimulated by noxious extreme temperatures and by chemical agonists that do not damage tissue (e.g., capsaicin and isothiocyanate). We test whether crustaceans have nociceptors by examining nociceptive behaviours and neurophysiological responses to extreme temperatures and potentially nocigenic chemicals. Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) respond quickly and strongly to high temperatures, and neurons in the antenna show increased responses to transient high temperature stimuli. Crayfish showed no difference in behavioural response to low temperature stimuli. Crayfish also showed no significant changes in behaviour when stimulated with capsaicin or isothiocyanate compared to controls, and neurons in the antenna did not change their firing rate following application of capsaicin or isothiocyanate. Noxious high temperatures appear to be a potentially ecologically relevant noxious stimulus for crayfish that can be detected by sensory neurons, which may be specialized nociceptors.

publication date

  • April 15, 2015