Indexed on: 20 Jan '06Published on: 20 Jan '06Published in: Invertebrate Neuroscience
The introduction of an extract of Artemia into the sea water bathing tentacles from the hydroid Cladonema triggers a burst of electrical activity that can be recorded intracellularly from cnidocytes in the capitate tentacles. These bursts, which are composed of a variety of events, including action potentials and EPSPs, are Ca2+ dependent, and are abolished by pretreatment with NiCl2, suggesting that voltage-gated Ca2+ channels are involved in their generation or transmission. Intracellular injection of Lucifer Yellow and recordings from pairs of cnidocytes reveal that the cnidocytes are electrically coupled to one another, but that they are not uncoupled by heptanol. The role of these chemosensory pathways in priming the cnidocytes for discharge is discussed.