A method, based on a combination of mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography, was developed to investigate the release of neuropeptides from isolated locust corpora cardiaca. Melatonin, octopamine, trehalose and forskolin were administered to the perifused glands. The neuropeptides present in the releasates (spontaneous versus induced) were visualized by either conventional or capillary HPLC. Identification was achieved by means of MALDI-TOF MS and/or nanoflow-LC-Q-TOF MS. The observed effects of these chemicals regarding AKH release were in line with previous studies and validate the method. The most important finding of this study was that administration of melatonin stimulated the release of adipokinetic hormone precursor related peptides (APRP 1 and APRP 2), neuroparsins (NP A1, NP A2 and NP B) and diuretic peptide. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.