About this Research Topic
Endocrine and neuroendocrine systems play pivotal roles in the regulation of various biological processes, such as reproduction, energy homeostasis and feeding. Furthermore, endocrine/neuroendocrine mechanisms reflect the evolution and diversification of species in the animal kingdom. Diverse neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, neuropeptides and peptide hormones produced in endocrine, neuroendocrine and nervous systems participate in regulation of a wide range of biological processes in animals. Research on the structure and function of these endogenous bioactive molecules and the relevant signaling pathways in diverse animal taxa has provided a basis for understanding the evolutionary processes in the animal kingdom and the origins of molecular mechanisms underlying the control of physiology and behavior.
Invertebrate deuterostomes occupy a unique “intermediate” phylogenetic position between vertebrates and protostomian invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, annelids, mollusks, and nematodes), and therefore can provide important insights into the evolution of endocrine and neuroendocrine signaling systems. However, until recently much less was known about neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, neuropeptides, peptide hormones and their cognate receptors and biological roles in invertebrate deuterostomes, compared with those of vertebrates and protostomes. Over the past fifteen years, there has been a growing body of comprehensive and/or systematic research on neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, neuropeptides, peptide hormones and their cognate receptors and biological functions in invertebrate deuterostomes, in particular sea urchin (echinoderm), starfish (echinoderm), amphioxus (cephalochordate), and ascidian (urochordate), mainly due to rapid advances in a wide variety of omics analyses (genomics, transcriptomics, peptidomics, and metabolomics). These findings have enabled discovery of biological processes regulated by the endocrine, neuroendocrine, and nervous systems of invertebrate deuterostome species and identification of common and distinct characteristics at the molecular level, This has led to a deeper understanding of the evolutionary conservation and diversification of endocrine and neuroendocrine signaling in the animal kingdom.
This Research Topic aims to provide an up-to-date summary and discussion of recent advances in our knowledge of the endocrine, neuroendocrine, and nervous systems of invertebrate deuterostomes. We welcome reviews, original research articles, and technical notes, data reports (omics, statistical data analyses are acceptable), and commentaries that are related to the following topics:
• Structure, molecular functions, and biological significance of neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, neuropeptides, peptide hormones and cognate receptors in invertebrate deuterostomes.
• Comparative or evolutionary aspects of these molecules and/or their biological roles.
Keywords: Neuropeptide, hormone, receptor, activity, invertebrate deuterostome
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