The respiratory responses of Carcinus maenas to declining oxygen tension. (1/818)

The degree of respiratory independence shown by Carcinus under conditions of declining oxygen tension is dependent on the animal's level of activity. Inactive Carcinus are capable of maintaining respiratory independence down to a Po2 of 60-80 mmHg. This is achieved primarily by an increase in ventilation volume such that the amount of oxygen made available at the respiratory surfaces remains constant over a wide range of oxygen tension. The Po2 at which this can no longer be maintained corresponds closely to the Po2 at which respiratory independence is lost. Under normoxic conditions the Po2 of the post- and prebranchial blood was 97 and 18 mmHg respectively. At the high oxygen tensions prevailing in the postbranchial blood the respiratory pigment is fully saturated. Under conditions of declining oxygen tension the heart rate remains more or less constant until the Po2 reaches 60-80 mmHg, the onset of bradycardia coinciding with the loss of saturation of the haemocyanin. Although cardiac output falls during hypoxia, the capacity rate ratio remains approximately constant, which enables the effectiveness of oxygen uptake by the blood to remain at a high level.  (+info)

Gating of afferent input by a central pattern generator. (2/818)

Intracellular recordings from the sole proprioceptor (the oval organ) in the crab ventilatory system show that the nonspiking afferent fibers from this organ receive a cyclic hyperpolarizing inhibition in phase with the ventilatory motor pattern. Although depolarizing and hyperpolarizing current pulses injected into a single afferent will reset the ventilatory motor pattern, the inhibitory input is of sufficient magnitude to block afferent input to the ventilatory central pattern generator (CPG) for approximately 50% of the cycle period. It is proposed that this inhibitory input serves to gate sensory input to the ventilatory CPG to provide an unambiguous input to the ventilatory CPG.  (+info)

Network oscillations generated by balancing graded asymmetric reciprocal inhibition in passive neurons. (3/818)

We describe a novel mechanism by which network oscillations can arise from reciprocal inhibitory connections between two entirely passive neurons. The model was inspired by the activation of the gastric mill rhythm in the crab stomatogastric ganglion by the modulatory commissural ganglion neuron 1 (MCN1), but it is studied here in general terms. One model neuron has a linear current-voltage (I-V) curve with a low (L) resting potential, and the second model neuron has a linear current-voltage curve with a high (H) resting potential. The inhibitory connections between them are graded. There is an extrinsic modulatory excitatory input to the L neuron, and the L neuron presynaptically inhibits the modulatory neuron. Activation of the extrinsic modulatory neuron elicits stable network oscillations in which the L and H neurons are active in alternation. The oscillations arise because the graded reciprocal synapses create the equivalent of a negative-slope conductance region in the I-V curves for the cells. Geometrical methods are used to analyze the properties of and the mechanism underlying these network oscillations.  (+info)

The effects of osmotic stress on the electrical properties of the axons of a marine osmoconformer (Mala squinado. brachyura: crustacea). (4/818)

In contrast to the depolarization observed in hyperosmotic media, exposure of peripheral nerve to hyposmotic conditions induced pronounced axonal hyperpolarization. It is suggested that this hyperpolarization resulted from increased potassium and chloride permeabilities which could assist axonal volume regulation in hyposmotic conditions. The hyperpolarization was readily reversible, but the spike-generating mechanism suffered irreversible damage at hyposmotic concentrations below 665 m-osmoles. It is suggested that this axonal damage contributes to the lethal effects of hyposmotic stress in this crustacean osmoconformer and, possibly, in some euryhaline osmoregulators.  (+info)

Selective inhibition of transient K+ current by La3+ in crab peptide-secretory neurons. (5/818)

Although divalent cations and lanthides are well-known inhibitors of voltage-dependent Ca2+ currents (ICa), their ability to selectively inhibit a voltage-gated K+ current is less widely documented. We report that La3+ inhibits the transient K+ current (IA) of crab (Cardisoma carnifex) neurosecretory cells at ED50 approximately 5 microM, similar to that blocking ICa, without effecting the delayed rectifier K+ current (IK). Neurons were dissociated from the major crustacean neuroendocrine system, the X-organ-sinus gland, plated in defined medium, and recorded by whole cell patch clamp after 1-2 days in culture. The bath saline included 0.5 microM TTX and 0.5 mM CdCl2 to eliminate inward currents. Responses to depolarizing steps from a holding potential of -40 mV represented primarily IK. They were unchanged by La3+ up to 500 microM. Currents from -80 mV in the presence of 20 mM TEA were shown to represent primarily IA. La3+ (with TEA) reduced IA and maximum conductance (GA) by approximately 10% for 1 microM and another 10% each in 10 and 100 microM La3+. Normalized GA-V curves were well fit with a single Boltzmann function, with V1/2 +4 mV and slope 15 mV in control; V1/2 was successively approximately 15 mV depolarized and slope increased approximately 2 mV for each of these La3+ concentrations. Cd2+ (1 mM), Zn2+ (200 microM), and Pb2+ (100 microM) or removal of saline Mg2+ (26 mM) had little or no effect on IA. Steady-state inactivation showed similar right shifts (from V1/2 -39 mV) and slope increases (from 2.5 mV) in 10 and 100 microM La3+. Time to peak IA was slowed in 10 and 100 microM La3+, whereas curves of normalized time constants of initial decay from peak IA versus Vc were right-shifted successively approximately 15 mV for the three La3+ concentrations. The observations were fitted by a Woodhull-type model postulating a La3+-selective site that lies 0.26-0.34 of the distance across the membrane electric field, and both block of K+ movement and interaction with voltage-gating mechanisms; block can be relieved by depolarization and/or outward current. The observation of selective inhibition of IA by micromolar La3+ raises concerns about its use in studies of ICa to evaluate contamination by outward current.  (+info)

Receptor potentials and electrical properties of nonspiking stretch-receptive neurons in the sand crab Emerita analoga (Anomura, Hippidae). (6/818)

Receptor potentials and electrical properties of nonspiking stretch-receptive neurons in the sand crab Emerita analoga (Anomura, Hippidae). Four nonspiking, monopolar neurons with central somata and large peripheral dendrites constitute the sole innervation of the telson-uropod elastic strand stretch receptor in Emerita analoga. We characterized their responses to stretch and current injection, using two-electrode current clamp, in intact cells and in two types of isolated peripheral dendritic segments, one that included and one that excluded the dendritic termini (mechanosensory membrane). The membrane potentials of intact cells at rest (mean +/- SD: -57 +/- 4. 4 mV, n = 30), recorded in peripheral or neuropil processes, are similar to the membrane potentials of isolated dendritic segments and always less negative than membrane potentials of motoneurons and interneurons recorded in the same preparations. Ion substitution experiments indicate that the membrane potential is influenced strongly by Na+ conductance, probably localized in the mechanotransducing terminals within the elastic strand. The form of the receptor potential in response to ramp-hold-release stretch remains the same as stretch amplitude is varied and is not dependent on initial membrane potential (-70 to -30 mV) or recording site: initial depolarization (slope follows ramp of applied stretch), terminated by rapid, partial repolarization to a plateau (delayed depolarization) that is intermediate between the peak depolarization and the initial potential and sustained for the duration of the stretch. Responses to depolarizing current pulses are similar to stretch-evoked receptor potentials, except for small amplitude stimuli: an initial peak occurs only in response to stretch and probably reflects elastic recoil of the extracellular matrix surrounding the dendritic terminals. The rapid, partial repolarization depends on holding potential and is abolished by 4-aminopyridine (4-AP; 10 mM), implicating a fast-activating, fast-inactivating K+ conductance; TEA (60 mM) abolishes the remaining slow repolarization to the plateau. In intact cells, but not dendritic segments, regenerative depolarizations can arise in response to stretch or depolarizing current pulses; they are reduced by CdCl2 (10 microM) in the saline containing TEA and 4-AP and probably reflect current spread from Ca2+ influx at presynaptic terminals in the ganglion. We found no evidence for other voltage-activated conductances. Unlike morphologically similar "nonspiking" thoracic receptors of other species, E. analoga's nonspiking neurons are electrically compact and do not boost the analogue afferent signal by voltage-activated inward currents. The most prominent (only?) voltage-activated extra-ganglionic conductances are for potassium; by reducing the slope of the stretch-plateau depolarization curve, they extend each neuron's functional range to the full range of sensitivity of the receptor.  (+info)

Heterothermal acclimation: an experimental paradigm for studying the control of thermal acclimation in crabs. (7/818)

A method for the study of the control of the attainment of thermal acclimation has been applied to the crabs, Cancer pagurus and Carcinus maenas. Crabs were heterothermally acclimated by using an anterior-posterior partition between two compartments, one at 8 degrees C and the other at 22 degrees C. One compartment held a three-quarter section of the crab including the central nervous system (CNS), eye stalks, and ipsilateral legs; the other held a quarter section including the contralateral legs. Criteria used to assess the acclimation responses were comparisons of muscle plasma membrane fatty acid composition and "fluidity." In both species, the major fatty acids of phosphatidylcholine were 16:0, 18:1, 20:5, and 22:6, whereas phosphatidylethanolamine contained significantly less 16:0 but more 18:0; these fatty acids comprised 80% of the total. Differences in fatty acid composition were demonstrated between fractions obtained from the ipsilateral and contralateral legs from the same heterothermally acclimated individual. In all acclimation states (except 22CNS, phosphatidylcholine fraction), membrane lipid saturation was significantly increased with acclimation at 22 degrees as compared with 8 degrees C. Membrane fluidity was determined by using 1,3-diphenyl-1,3,5 hexatriene (DPH) fluorescence polarization. In both species, membranes from legs held at 8 degrees were more fluid than from legs held at 22 degrees C irrespective of the acclimation temperature of the CNS. Heterothermal acclimation demonstrated that leg muscle membrane composition and fluidity respond primarily to local temperature and were not predominately under central direction. The responses between 8 degrees C- and 22 degrees C-acclimated legs were more pronounced when the CNS was cold-acclimated, so a central influence cannot be excluded.  (+info)

Repeated hand urticaria due to contact with fishfood. (8/818)

BACKGROUND: The etiology of urticaria is often difficult to determine. However, in case of repeated circumstance-connected urticaria, the reason may be easily clarifyable. CASE: A 51-year-old healthy woman repeatedly experienced occupational hand urticaria when handling fish food. An unexpected reason for the urticaria was found in that the fishfood contained histamine as a "contaminant". CONCLUSIONS: In fishfood batches, biological degradation can produce histamine and possibly other toxic substances that can lead to occupational health problems.  (+info)