The closer muscle is a second target for the stretcher inhibitor motoneuron of the crayfish's thoracic limbs

Research paper by T. J. Wiens

Indexed on: 01 Oct '93Published on: 01 Oct '93Published in: Journal of Comparative Physiology A


The stretcher inhibitor motoneuron of each thoracic limb of a crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) was consistently found to innervate parts of the closer muscle, in addition to the stretcher muscle; it is thus not a specific inhibitor as previously thought. The common inhibitory motoneuron also innervates parts of both muscles. Some individual closer muscle fibers are inhibited more strongly by one inhibitor, some by the other, and some fairly equally by both; no general rule governing the inhibitors' closer muscle outputs became evident. In the claw, the distal closer fibres with the longest membrane time constants are all strongly inhibited by the stretcher inhibitor, and some by the common inhibitor as well.No other thoracic limb muscles were found to receive the stretcher inhibitor. The opener inhibitor's effects could be detected only in the opener muscle. The common inhibitor inhibits all walking leg muscles effectively. In the cheliped, it consistently inhibits all except the opener muscle, where its output may be vestigial. Its axon emerges through the ganglion's first root, whereas the opener and stretcher inhibitors' axons pass through the second root. The fast and slow excitatory axons to the extensor muscle also exit separately through the first and second roots, as in locusts.