An octopaminergic neurone in an insect is demonstrated. This cell (DUMETi) is the dorsal unpaired median neurone which projects to the extensor tibiae muscle of the locust metathoracic leg. Its soma was physiologically identified, isolated and shown to contain about 0.1 pmol of octopamine. Octopamine is about four times more concentrated in the axon than in the soma. The concentration in the soma is at least 800 times more than that in the soma of an identified motoneurone (which controls the fast extensor of the tibia). The effects of DUMETi on a myogenic rhythm in the extensor muscle of the locust metathoracic leg can be mimicked by superfusion with low concentrations of octopamine. The myogenic bundle possesses at least two types of aminergic receptor: one which slows the rhythm (and has a high-affinity for octopamine) and a second which accelerates the rhythm (and has a low-affinity for octopamine but a high-affinity for the indolalkylamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine). The roles of the two receptor types in modulating the rhythm are discussed in relation to the function of the rhythm.

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