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Neuropeptides, Invertebrate †
Proteins, Peptides and Amino Acids
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. All rights reserved.
Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine
How to Cite
Masler, E. P. 2006. Neuropeptides, Invertebrate . Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Invertebrates present enormous diversity and occupy every ecological niche. They comprise microscopic worms and large squid, sedentary corals and migrating locusts. The 30 invertebrate phyla include animals with the relatively simple nerve net of the cnidarians and the complex central and peripheral nervous systems of insects and molluscs. Common to all invertebrates, regardless of size, habit or complexity, however, is a dependence upon neuropeptides for control of physiological processes. This feature is shared among all animals. Activities ranging from behavior and reproduction to energy metabolism and metamorphosis are under the control of one or more neuropeptides. The lower invertebrates appear to rely upon few families of neuropeptides that include large numbers of a variety of sequences, whereas higher invertebrates have many neuropeptide families with fewer numbers of different sequences within each family. In both cases, however, there is a complex neuropeptide biochemistry. Mechanisms of neuropeptide synthesis, secretion, action, and catabolism are similar to those described for vertebrates, but useful differences exist. These differences facilitate studies of biochemical evolution and provide unique experimental systems. It was, in fact, work on insect metamorphosis early in the twentieth century that led to the concept of neurosecretion. Research into invertebrate neuropeptides is as important to better understand the life processes of animals, in general, as it is to discover environmentally responsible means to control pests.