Autaptic muscarinic self-excitation and nitrergic self-inhibition in neurons initiating Aplysia feeding are revealed when the neurons are cultured in isolation

Ravit Saada-Madar, Nimrod Miller, Abraham J. Susswein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Properties of a neuron may arise via endogenous mechanisms, or via interactions with other neurons. Culturing a neuron in isolation is a useful tool to distinguish between endogenous and circuit-derived properties. We identified two remarkable functional features of pattern initiator neurons B31/B32 in Aplysia when these neurons were cultured in isolation. These features were also present in situ, but were less prominent, and would have been missed had they not been observed first in the isolated cultured neurons. The properties are likely to be present in neurons of higher animals, but have not yet been observed. One feature was autaptic muscarinic self-excitation that contributes to the neuron's plateau potential, by which it initiates behavior. The other feature was the release of nitric oxide (NO) in the absence of spiking, which causes self-inhibition at rest. The nitrergic modulation of B31/B32 is likely to contribute to the control of feeding by dietary changes in the concentration of L-arginine, the precursor from which NO is synthesized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Histology
Volume43
Issue number4
Early online date10 May 2012
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Aplysia
  • Autapse
  • Feeding
  • Isolated-neuron
  • NO

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