Bioassays of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in fifth-instar Rhodnius prolixus haemolymph using Calliphora salivary glands indicate that: (1) biologically active 5-HT is present, (2) in unfed animals there is not enough 5-HT to stimulate Malpighian tubule fluid secretion, and (3) there is enough 5-HT soon after the initiation of feeding to stimulate rapid tubule secretion. The 5-HT receptor antagonists ketanserin and spiperone reversibly and selectively inhibit 5-HT-induced fluid secretion, indicating the presence of specific 5-HT receptors on Rhodnius Malpighian tubules. The data provide evidence that 5-HT is a naturally occurring hormone acting with a previously described peptide hormone to regulate diuresis in this species.

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