Journal of Insect Physiology vol:56 issue:8 pages:854-867
The biogenic amine octopamine and its biological precursor tyramine are thought to be the invertebrate
functional homologues of the vertebrate adrenergic transmitters. Octopamine functions as a
neuromodulator, neurotransmitter and neurohormone in insect nervous systems and prompts the
whole organism to ‘‘dynamic action’’. A growing number of studies suggest a prominent role for
octopamine in modulating multiple physiological and behavioural processes in invertebrates, as for
example the phase transition in Schistocerca gregaria. Both octopamine and tyramine exert their effects
by binding to specific receptor proteins that belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors.
Since these receptors do not appear to be present in vertebrates, they may present very suitable and
specific insecticide and acaricide targets.