SUMMARY: Phototaxis by slugs was disoriented in the presence of pertussis toxin, suggesting a role for pertussis-toxin-sensitive G-proteins in slug behaviour. The decrease in orientation accuracy was dependent on the concentration of this bacterial toxin. Pertussis toxin did not significantly affect slug thermotaxis, while cholera toxin had no significant effects on either slug phototaxis or thermotaxis. The addition of micromolar concentrations of lithium salts (LiCl or LiBr) resulted in disorientation of both phototaxis and positive thermotaxis by slugs. The corresponding sodium salts had no effect on slug behaviour, confirming that the effects were specific to lithium ions. The effects of lithium ions suggest a role for inositol phosphates as possible second messengers in slug behaviour. Except for slight impairment of thermotaxis by -sphingosine, we found no effects on slug behaviour of either phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetateorsphingolipids. We thus found little pharmacological evidence for a role in slug signal transduction of the diacylglycerol branch of the inositol lipid pathway.


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