Serotonin modulates afferent synaptic transmission to the lateral giant neurons of crayfish, which are command neurons for escape behavior. Low concentrations, or high concentrations reached gradually, are facilitatory, whereas high concentrations reached rapidly are inhibitory. The modulatory effects rapidly reverse after brief periods of application, whereas longer periods of application are followed by facilitation that persists for hours. These effects of serotonin can be reproduced by models that involve multiple interacting intracellular signaling systems that are each stimulated by serotonin. The dependence of the neuromodulatory effect on dose, rate, and duration of modulator application may be relevant to understanding the effects of natural neuromodulation on behavior and cognition and to the design of drug therapies.
Teshiba, T., Shamasian, A., Yashar, B., Yeh, S.-R., Edwards, D.H., and Krasne, F.B. (2001) Dual and opposing modulatory effects of serotonin on crayfish lateral giant escape command neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 21(12), 4523-4529. Available at: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/12/4523.full.pdf+html Also available at: http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/neurosci_facpub/19/