Post-ingestive feedbacks and associative learning regulate the intake of unsuitable sterols in a generalist grasshopper. (1/855)

Behavioural studies of the grasshopper Schistocerca americana were undertaken to identify the mechanisms that regulate the intake of dietary sterols. In the first experiment, grasshoppers were allowed to feed on spinach, a plant containing only unsuitable sterols; immediately after this first meal, a suitable or unsuitable sterol was injected into the haemolymph. Grasshoppers injected with unsuitable sterols had second meals on spinach that were significantly shorter than those of grasshoppers injected with suitable sterols, indicating that unsuitable dietary sterols are detected post-ingestively. In the second experiment, grasshoppers were fed food containing only unsuitable sterols and were then presented with glass-fibre discs containing different concentrations of a suitable sterol or sucrose only (the control). The results suggest that grasshoppers do not use a direct feedback operating on mouthpart chemoreceptors to regulate their intake of suitable sterols. In the third experiment, grasshoppers were presented with artificial diets containing different sterols and flavours, and feeding was observed over a sequence of meals. The results from both the first and last experiments suggest a role for associative learning in regulating the intake of unsuitable sterols.  (+info)

Cell junctions in the developing compound eye of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. (2/855)

Intercellular junctions in the developing retina of the locust Schistocerca gregaria have been examined by electron microscopy. Different types of junction appear in a well defined sequence during development. Five stages of ommatidial development are described. Close junctions and punctate junctions are present throughout development. Gap junctions appear transiently amongst the undifferentiated cells, before clearly defined preommatidia can be distinguished. The subsequent disappearance of gap junctions may be correlated with cell determination. Lanthanum studies confirm these findings. The later sequential appearance of adhesive junction types is described. These include septate desmosomes and two types of desmosomes. In the fully differentiated ommatidium only two types of junction remain, these are: desmosomes and rhabdomeric junctions.  (+info)

The neuronal basis of a sensory analyser, the acridid movement detector system. I. Effects of simple incremental and decremental stimuli in light and dark adapted animals. (3/855)

1. The response of the movement detector (MD) system to proportionally constant incremental and decremental stimuli has been studied at various degrees of light and dark adaptation. Action potentials in the descending contralateral movement detector neurone were taken as the indicator of response. 2. Over a range of at least six log10 units of adapting luminance, the MD system behaves as an ON/OFF unit, giving responses to both incremental and decremental changes in the illumination of a 5 degrees target. 3. With increasing amplitudes of stimuli, both the ON and OFF responses saturate rapidly. Saturation is reached sooner at higher levels of light adaptation. At all levels of light adaptation, the OFF response is greater than the ON. The ratio for saturating stimuli is approximately constant at around 3:2. 4. At the brightest adapting luminances used (20 000 cd/m2) the ON response is reduced but not lost. At the lowest (0-004 cd/m2) the OFF response to a 5 degrees disc fails, but can be regained by increasing the test area to 10 degrees. 5. From what is known of the retina of locusts and other insects, it is thought that light and dark adaptation in the MD system can be adequately explained by events at the retinula cell.  (+info)

Long-term effects of prior heat shock on neuronal potassium currents recorded in a novel insect ganglion slice preparation. (4/855)

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)

Phase-dependent presynaptic modulation of mechanosensory signals in the locust flight system. (5/855)

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)

Filopodial adhesion does not predict growth cone steering events in vivo. (6/855)

Migration of growth cones is in part mediated by adhesive interactions between filopodia and the extracellular environment, transmitting forces and signals necessary for pathfinding. To elucidate the role of substrate adhesivity in growth cone pathfinding, we developed an in vivo assay for measuring filopodial-substrate adhesivity using the well-characterized Ti pioneer neuron pathway of the embryonic grasshopper limb. Using time-lapse imaging and a combination of rhodamine-phalloidin injections and DiI labeling, we demonstrate that the filopodial retraction rate after treatment with cytochalasin D or elastase reflects the degree of filopodial-substrate adhesivity. Measurements of filopodial retraction rates along regions of known differing substrate adhesivities confirmed the use of this assay to examine filopodial-substrate adhesion during in vivo pathfinding events. We analyzed 359 filopodia from 22 Ti growth cones and found that there is no difference between the retraction rates of filopodia extending toward the correct target (on-axis) and filopodia extending away from the correct target (off-axis). These results indicate on-axis and off-axis filopodia have similar substrate adherence. Interestingly, we observed a 300% increase in the extension rates of on-axis filopodia during Ti growth cone turning events. Therefore, in addition to providing filopodia with important guidance information, regional cues are capable of modulating the filopodial extension rate. The homogeneity in filopodial retraction rates, even among these turning growth cones in which differential adhesivity might be expected to be greatest, strongly establishes that differential adhesion does not govern Ti pioneer neuron migration rate or pathfinding. We propose that the presence of local differences in receptor-mediated second messenger cascades and the resulting assembly of force-generating machinery may underlie the ability of filopodial contacts to regulate growth cone steering in vivo.  (+info)

Discrete roles for secreted and transmembrane semaphorins in neuronal growth cone guidance in vivo. (7/855)

From the initial stages of axon outgrowth to the formation of a functioning synapse, neuronal growth cones continuously integrate and respond to multiple guidance cues. To investigate the role of semaphorins in the establishment of appropriate axon trajectories, we have characterized a novel secreted semaphorin in grasshopper, gSema 2a. Sema 2a is expressed in a gradient in the developing limb bud epithelium during Ti pioneer axon outgrowth. We demonstrate that Sema 2a acts as chemorepulsive guidance molecule critical for axon fasciculation and for determining both the initial direction and subsequent pathfinding events of the Ti axon projection. Interestingly, simultaneous perturbation of both secreted Sema 2a and transmembrane Sema I results in a broader range and increased incidence of abnormal Ti pioneer axon phenotypes, indicating that different semaphorin family members can provide functionally distinct guidance information to the same growth cone in vivo.  (+info)

Neuronal basis of a sensory analyser, the acridid movement detector system. III. Control of response amplitude by tonic lateral inhibition. (8/855)

1. The Lobular Giant Movement Detector neurone (LGMD) of Schistocerca responds with spikes when small areas of the visual field change in luminance. Previous work has shown that changes of +/- 1 log 10 unit are enough to produce maximal ON and OFF responses. 2. Using a 5 degree test area, it is shown that the number of spikes generated by such a stimulus depends on the luminance of the surrounding area. When the surround is dark, the response is maximal; when it is brightly lit, the response is minimal. Intermediate intensities produce intermediate values of response. A X 2 change in response is produced by about 3 log 10 units change in surround intensity. 3. A bright annulus, with diameters of 10-5 degrees and 25-8 degrees, inhibits both ON and OFF responses when concentric with the 5 degree test area, but not when it is 30 degrees eccentric to the test area. The inhibitory effect shows no decrease after 4 min. 4. These results are interpreted to indicate a tonic lateral inhibitory network, sited peripherally in the optic lobe prior to the divergence of the separate ON and OFF channels found in the projection from the medulla to the LGMD. It is probably identical with that described for the lamina by previous workers.  (+info)