Main content area

Dopamine regulates body size in Caenorhabditis elegans

Nagashima, Takashi, Oami, Eitaro, Kutsuna, Natsumaro, Ishiura, Shoichi, Suo, Satoshi
Developmental biology 2016 v.412 pp. 128-138
Caenorhabditis elegans, animals, behavior change, body size, dopamine, dopamine receptors, food intake, ingestion, nervous system, neurotransmitters, octopamine
The nervous system plays a critical role in the regulation of animal body sizes. In Caenorhabditis elegans, an amine neurotransmitter, dopamine, is required for the tactile perception of food and food-dependent behavioral changes, while its role in development is unknown. In this study, we show that dopamine negatively regulates body size through a D2-like dopamine receptor, DOP-3, in C. elegans. Dopamine alters body size without affecting food intake or developmental rate. We also found that dopamine promotes egg-laying, although the regulation of body size by dopamine was not solely caused by this effect. Furthermore, dopamine negatively regulates body size through the suppression of signaling by octopamine and Gq-coupled octopamine receptors, SER-3 and SER-6. Our results demonstrate that dopamine and octopamine regulate the body size of C. elegans and suggest a potential role for perception in addition to ingestion of food for growth.