Physiology and morphology of spiking local interneurons in the terminal abdominal ganglion of the crayfish.

Research paper by T T Nagayama, Y Y Isogai, H H Namba

Indexed on: 22 Nov '93Published on: 22 Nov '93Published in: Journal of Comparative Neurology


Not only nonspiking local interneurons but also spiking local interneurons in the terminal abdominal ganglion of the crayfish (Procambarus clarkii Girard) contribute to form the motor output of the uropod. In this study, 14 spiking local interneurons are identified by their gross morphology and physiological properties including the sensory inputs from the uropod and premotor output onto the uropod motor neurons on both sides. Morphologically, they are divided into three groups based on the position of their somata: anterior, medial, and posterior. The main branches of interneurons in each group are usually extended on the side contralateral to the soma, or they have profuse bilateral branches. Physiologically, all of them receive excitatory inputs from the afferents innervating the exopodite on the side ipsilateral their main branches. They are usually silent, and spike only in response to sensory stimulation. The majority of them (11 out of 14 neurons) have output effects on the uropod motor neurons that elicit reciprocally closing pattern. They increased the activity of the closer motor neurons and decreased the activity of the opener motor neurons. Only one interneuron inhibits the closer motor neurons. The remaining two interneurons coactivate both the antagonistic motor neurons. Since the reciprocal closing pattern of the uropod motor neurons is elicited in response to sensory stimulation of the uropod, spiking local interneurons may initiate this local reflex circuit. They detect the initiation of the stimulus and convey signals from the sensory to the motor side.