Student Summer Scholars
 

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Life Sciences

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Abstract

Serotonergic-related compounds often facilitate aggression in various animals, including crayfish. However to date, studies have seldom shown the mechanism by which serotonergicrelated compounds alter aggressive behavior. It is assumed that serotonin changes the neurochemistry of those injected. In our study, we have attempted to report an observable mechanism by examining the communication system of crayfish. Crayfish use urine to communicate aggressive status, thus we analyzed the frequency of urine release from those injected with serotonergic-related compounds. For each trial, two size-matched crayfish, within 5% body weight, were allowed to interact after injection with serotonin, an agonist, an antagonist, or vehicle control. The concentration of all drugs was 3mM at a delivery dosage of 0.1ml/g. Aggressive interactions were recorded under black light to illuminate a fluorescein dye that was added to all injections. Urine release and aggressive behaviors were then analyzed.