The actions of octopamine on the Schwann cells of the giant nerve fibre of the tropical squid are described. The pharmacology of the receptors mediating the actions of octopamine has been investigated in terms of stereospecificity, amine specificity and interactions with a range of agonists and antagonists. The receptors are maximally activated by D(−)-octopamine and share many of the characteristics of OCTOPAMINE2 class receptors in other preparations. The octopamine receptors appear to mediate their actions by increasing the intracellular levels of cyclic AMP in the Schwann cells. Low concentrations of octopamine potentiate the actions of the nicotinic cholinergic activation system of the Schwann cells. The results are discussed in terms of the possible physiological role of octopamine in the modulation of Schwann cell activity during stressful conditions when the giant axon system is likely to be used at a high frequency to facilitate the escape response of the squid.

This content is only available via PDF.