Serotonergic and peptidergic modulation of the buccal mass protractor muscle (I2) in Aplysia

I. Hurwitz, E. C. Cropper, F. S. Vilim, V. Alexeeva, A. J. Susswein, I. Kupfermann, K. R. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Plasticity of Aplysia feeding has largely been measured by noting changes in radula protraction. On the basis of previous work, it has been suggested that peripheral modulation may contribute to behavioral plasticity. However, peripheral plasticity has not been demonstrated in the neuromuscular systems that participate in radula protraction. Therefore in this study we investigated whether contractions of a major radula protraction muscle (I2) are subject to modulation. We demonstrate, first, that an increase in the firing frequency of the cholinergic I2 motoneurons will increase the amplitude of the resulting muscle contraction but will not modulate its relaxation rate. We show, second, that neuronal processes on the I2 muscle are immunoreactive to myomodulin (MM), RF-amide, and serotonin (5-HT), but not to small cardioactive peptide (SCP) or buccalin. The I2 motoneurons B31, B32, B61, and B62 are not immunoreactive to RFamide, 5-HT, SCP, or buccalin. However, all four cells are MM immunoreactive and are capable of synthesizing MMa. Third, we show that the bioactivity of the different modulators is somewhat different; while the MMs (i.e., MMa and MMb) and 5-HT increase I2 muscle relaxation rate, and potentiate muscle contraction amplitude, MMa, at high concentrations, depresses muscle contractions. Fourth, our data suggest that cAMP at least partially mediates effects of modulators on contraction amplitude and relaxation rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2810-2820
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


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