Neural mapping of direction and frequency in the cricket cercal sensory system. (1/835)

Primary mechanosensory receptors and interneurons in the cricket cercal sensory system are sensitive to the direction and frequency of air current stimuli. Receptors innervating long mechanoreceptor hairs (>1000 microm) are most sensitive to low-frequency air currents (<150 Hz); receptors innervating medium-length hairs (900-500 microm) are most sensitive to higher frequency ranges (150-400 Hz). Previous studies demonstrated that the projection pattern of the synaptic arborizations of long hair receptor afferents form a continuous map of air current direction within the terminal abdominal ganglion (). We demonstrate here that the projection pattern of the medium-length hair afferents also forms a continuous map of stimulus direction. However, the afferents from the long and medium-length hair afferents show very little spatial segregation with respect to their frequency sensitivity. The possible functional significance of this small degree of spatial segregation was investigated, by calculating the relative overlap between the long and medium-length hair afferents with the dendrites of two interneurons that are known to have different frequency sensitivities. Both interneurons were shown to have nearly equal anatomical overlap with long and medium hair afferents. Thus, the differential overlap of these interneurons with the two different classes of afferents was not adequate to explain the observed frequency selectivity of the interneurons. Other mechanisms such as selective connectivity between subsets of afferents and interneurons and/or differences in interneuron biophysical properties must play a role in establishing the frequency selectivities of these interneurons.  (+info)

Actions of a pair of identified cerebral-buccal interneurons (CBI-8/9) in Aplysia that contain the peptide myomodulin. (2/835)

A combination of biocytin back-fills of the cerebral-buccal connectives and immunocytochemistry of the cerebral ganglion demonstrated that of the 13 bilateral pairs of cerebral-buccal interneurons in the cerebral ganglion, a subpopulation of 3 are immunopositive for the peptide myomodulin. The present paper describes the properties of two of these cells, which we have termed CBI-8 and CBI-9. CBI-8 and CBI-9 were found to be dye coupled and electrically coupled. The cells have virtually identical properties, and consequently we consider them to be "twin" pairs and refer to them as CBI-8/9. CBI-8/9 were identified by electrophysiological criteria and then labeled with dye. Labeled cells were found to be immunopositive for myomodulin, and, using high pressure liquid chromatography, the cells were shown to contain authentic myomodulin. CBI-8/9 were found to receive synaptic input after mechanical stimulation of the tentacles. They also received excitatory input from C-PR, a neuron involved in neck lengthening, and received a slow inhibitory input from CC5, a cell involved in neck shortening, suggesting that CBI-8/9 may be active during forward movements of the head or buccal mass. Firing of CBI-8 or CBI-9 resulted in the activation of a relatively small number of buccal neurons as evidenced by extracellular recordings from buccal nerves. Firing also produced local movements of the buccal mass, in particular a strong contraction of the I7 muscle, which mediates radula opening. CBI-8/9 were found to produce a slow depolarization and rhythmic activity of B48, the motor neuron for the I7 muscle. The data provide continuing evidence that the small population of cerebral buccal interneurons is composed of neurons that are highly diverse in their functional roles. CBI-8/9 may function as a type of premotor neuron, or perhaps as a peptidergic modulatory neuron, the functions of which are dependent on the coactivity of other neurons.  (+info)

C-PR neuron of Aplysia has differential effects on "Feeding" cerebral interneurons, including myomodulin-positive CBI-12. (3/835)

Head lifting and other aspects of the appetitive central motive state that precedes consummatory feeding movements in Aplysia is promoted by excitation of the C-PR neuron. Food stimuli activate C-PR as well as a small population of cerebral-buccal interneurons (CBIs). We wished to determine if firing of C-PR produced differential effects on the various CBIs or perhaps affected all the CBIs uniformly as might be expected for a neuron involved in producing a broad undifferentiated arousal state. We found that when C-PR was fired, it produced a wide variety of effects on various CBIs. Firing of C-PR evoked excitatory input to a newly identified CBI (CBI-12) the soma of which is located in the M cluster near the previously identified CBI-2. CBI-12 shares certain properties with CBI-2, including a similar morphology and a capacity to drive rhythmic activity of the buccal-ganglion. Unlike CBI-2, CBI-12 exhibits myomodulin immunoreactivity. Furthermore when C-PR is fired, CBI-12 receives a polysynaptic voltage-dependent slow excitation, whereas, CBI-2 receives relatively little input. C-PR also polysynaptically excites other CBIs including CBI-1 and CBI-8/9 but produces inhibition in CBI-3. In addition, firing of C-PR inhibits plateau potentials in CBI-5/6. The data suggest that activity of C-PR may promote the activity of one subset of cerebral-buccal interneurons, perhaps those involved in ingestive behaviors that occur during the head-up posture. C-PR also inhibits some cerebral-buccal interneurons that may be involved in behaviors in which C-PR activity is not required or may even interfere with other feeding behaviors such as rejection or grazing, that occur with the head down.  (+info)

Central pattern generator for escape swimming in the notaspid sea slug Pleurobranchaea californica. (4/835)

Escape swimming in the notaspid opisthobranch Pleurobranchaea is an episode of alternating dorsal and ventral body flexions that overrides all other behaviors. We have explored the structure of the central pattern generator (CPG) in the cerebropleural ganglion as part of a study of neural network interactions underlying decision making in normal behavior. The CPG comprises at least eight bilaterally paired interneurons, each of which contributes and is phase-locked to the swim rhythm. Dorsal flexion is mediated by hemiganglion ensembles of four serotonin-immunoreactive neurons, the As1, As2, As3, and As4, and an electrically coupled pair, the A1 and A10 cells. When stimulated, A10 commands fictive swimming in the isolated CNS and actual swimming behavior in whole animals. As1-4 provide prolonged, neuromodulatory excitation enhancing dorsal flexion bursts and swim cycle number. Ventral flexion is mediated by the A3 cell and a ventral swim interneuron, IVS, the soma of which is yet unlocated. Initiation of a swim episode begins with persistent firing in A10, followed by recruitment of As1-4 and A1 into dorsal flexion. Recurrent excitation within the As1-4 ensemble and with A1/A10 may reinforce coactivity. Synchrony among swim interneuron partners and bilateral coordination is promoted by electrical coupling among the A1/A10 and As4 pairs, and among unilateral As2-4, and reciprocal chemical excitation between contralateral As1-4 groups. The switch from dorsal to ventral flexion coincides with delayed recruitment of A3, which is coupled electrically to A1, and with recurrent inhibition from A3/IVS to A1/A10. The alternating phase relation may be reinforced by reciprocal inhibition between As1-4 and IVS. Pleurobranchaea's swim resembles that of the nudibranch Tritonia; we find that the CPGs are similar in many details, suggesting that the behavior and network are primitive characters derived from a common pleurobranchid ancestor.  (+info)

Long-term effects of prior heat shock on neuronal potassium currents recorded in a novel insect ganglion slice preparation. (5/835)

Brief exposure to high temperatures (heat shock) induces long-lasting adaptive changes in the molecular biology of protein interactions and behavior of poikilotherms. However, little is known about heat shock effects on neuronal properties. To investigate how heat shock affects neuronal properties we developed an insect ganglion slice from locusts. The functional integrity of neuronal circuits in slices was demonstrated by recordings from rhythmically active respiratory neurons and by the ability to induce rhythmic population activity with octopamine. Under these "functional" in vitro conditions we recorded outward potassium currents from neurons of the ventral midline of the A1 metathoracic neuromere. In control neurons, voltage steps to 40 mV from a holding potential of -60 mV evoked in control neurons potassium currents with a peak current of 10.0 +/- 2.5 nA and a large steady state current of 8.5 +/- 2.6 nA, which was still activated from a holding potential of -40 mV. After heat shock most of the outward current inactivated rapidly (peak amplitude: 8.4 +/- 2.4 nA; steady state: 3.6 +/- 2.0 nA). This current was inactivated at a holding potential of -40 mV. The response to temperature changes was also significantly different. After changing the temperature from 38 to 42 degrees C the amplitude of the peak and steady-state current was significantly lower in neurons obtained from heat-shocked animals than those obtained from controls. Our study indicates that not only heat shock can alter neuronal properties, but also that it is possible to investigate ion currents in insect ganglion slices.  (+info)

Gating of afferent input by a central pattern generator. (6/835)

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)

Phase-dependent presynaptic modulation of mechanosensory signals in the locust flight system. (7/835)

In the locust flight system, afferents of a wing hinge mechanoreceptor, the hindwing tegula, make monosynaptic excitatory connections with motoneurons of the elevator muscles. During flight motor activity, the excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) produced by these connections changed in amplitude with the phase of the wingbeat cycle. The largest changes occurred around the phase where elevator motoneurons passed through their minimum membrane potential. This phase-dependent modulation was neither due to flight-related oscillations in motoneuron membrane potential nor to changes in motoneuron input resistance. This indicates that modulation of EPSP amplitude is mediated by presynaptic mechanisms that affect the efficacy of afferent synaptic input. Primary afferent depolarizations (PADs) were recorded in the terminal arborizations of tegula afferents, presynaptic to elevator motoneurons in the same hemiganglion. PADs were attributed to presynaptic inhibitory input because they reduced the input resistance of the afferents and were sensitive to the gamma-aminobutyric acid antagonist picrotoxin. PADs occurred either spontaneously or were elicited by spike activity in the tegula afferents. In summary, afferent signaling in the locust flight system appears to be under presynaptic control, a candidate mechanism of which is presynaptic inhibition.  (+info)

In vitro analog of operant conditioning in aplysia. I. Contingent reinforcement modifies the functional dynamics of an identified neuron. (8/835)

Previously, an analog of operant conditioning in Aplysia was developed using the rhythmic motor activity in the isolated buccal ganglia. This analog expressed a key feature of operant conditioning, namely a selective enhancement in the occurrence of a designated motor pattern by contingent reinforcement. Different motor patterns generated by the buccal central pattern generator were induced by monotonic stimulation of a peripheral nerve (i.e., n.2,3). Phasic stimulation of the esophageal nerve (E n.) was used as an analog of reinforcement. The present study investigated the neuronal mechanisms associated with the genesis of different motor patterns and their modifications by contingent reinforcement. The genesis of different motor patterns was related to changes in the functional states of the pre-motor neuron B51. During rhythmic activity, B51 dynamically switched between inactive and active states. Bursting activity in B51 was associated with, and predicted, characteristic features of a specific motor pattern (i.e., pattern I). Contingent reinforcement of pattern I modified the dynamical properties of B51 by decreasing its resting conductance and threshold for eliciting plateau potentials and thus increased the occurrences of pattern I-related activity in B51. These modifications were not observed in preparations that received either noncontingent reinforcement (i.e., yoke control) or no reinforcement (i.e., control). These results suggest that a contingent reinforcement paradigm can regulate the dynamics of neuronal activity that is centrally programmed by the intrinsic cellular properties of neurons.  (+info)