Developmental expression of a tyramine receptor gene in the brain of the honey bee, Apis mellifera

Julie A. Mustard, Peri T. Kurshan, Ingrid S. Hamilton, Wolfgang Blenau, Alison R. Mercer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


This study reveals that the tyramine receptor gene, Amtyr1, is expressed in the developing brain, as well as in the brain of the adult worker honey bee. Changes in levels of Amtyr1 expression were examined using Northern analysis. Age-related increases in Amtyr1 transcript levels were observed not only during metamorphic adult development, but also in the brain of the adult worker bee. RNA in situ hybridization revealed the pattern of Amtyr1 expression. Cell bodies staining intensely for tyramine receptor-gene transcript were observed throughout the somata rind, with well-defined clusters of cells associated with developing mushroom bodies, optic lobes, and antennal lobes of the brain. Staining for Amtyr1 transcript was particularly intense within the three major divisions of mushroom body intrinsic neurons (outer compact, noncompact, and inner compact cells), suggesting that Amtyr1 is highly expressed in these structures. Activation of AmTYR1 receptors heterologously expressed in insect (Spodoptera frugiperda) cells led to a reduction in intracellular levels of cAMP similar to that reported for AmTYR1 receptors expressed in mammalian (HEK 293) cells (Blenau et al. [2000] J Neurochem 74:900-908). Taken together, these results suggest that AmTYR1 receptors may play a role in the developing brain as well as in the brain of the adult worker bee. The actions of tyramine are likely to be mediated, at least in part, via the cAMP-signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-75
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Biogenic amine
  • Invertebrate
  • Metamorphosis
  • Neuromodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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