To examine chromatophore control by FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP), we investigated the pharmacological effect of FMRFamide on the chromatophores and the FMRFamide-immunoreactivity of nerves surrounding the muscles in the coastal squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana. Applications of FMRFamide elicited expansion of black chromatophores and retraction of yellow chromatophores in the adult squid. FMRFamide-immunoreactive terminals were distributed along black chromatophore muscles but were not observed around the yellow ones. This means that FMRFamide functions differently for each of the two types of chromatophores in the adult squid. Moreover, the pharmacological effect of FMRFamide on the black chromatophores differed between adults and hatchlings; application of FMRFamide retracted black chromatophores in hatchlings but not in adults. These results indicate that certain squid species have an FaRP system for controlling the chromatophores in their skin and that the system changes during development.
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