Biogenic amines (serotonin and catecholamines), play an important role in the control of the blood flow not only in vertebrates, but also in invertebrates such as cephalopods. In contrast to the well investigated hearts of the ȁ8modern,ȁ9 coleoid cephalopods, the innervation of the heart of the archaic Nautilus pompilius L. has not been studied in detail. In this study the distribution and effects of biogenic amines in the Nautilus heart were investigated. Serotonin and catecholamines were visualised by the glyxoylic acid induced fluorescence. High performance liquid chromatotography analysis was performed to discriminate between the catecholamines, which showed a high content of noradrenaline in the 4 auricles, the aorta and the ventricle, whereas the ventricle showed a high dopamine content. Adrenaline was found at a very low concentration in the ventricle. Serotonin and dopamine were also immunohistochemically localised to larger nerves and throughout the heart, respectively. In organ bath experiments, the auricles showed little spontaneous activity. After adding serotonin, they displayed rhythmical contractions, which were accelerated dose-dependently by noradrenaline. In summary, these data suggest an important role for biogenic amines in the control of the heart of Nautilus pompilius L., with serotonin possibly stimulating excitatory nerve fibres, whereas noradrenaline is likely to influence the muscle contraction itself.