Mechanisms of Serotonergic Facilitation of a Command Neuron
Journal of Neurophysiology
Antonsen BL, Edwards DH. Mechanisms of serotonergic facilitation of a command neuron. eral giant (LG) command neuron of crayfish responds to an attack directed at the abdomen by triggering a single highly stereotyped escape tail flip. Experimentally applied serotonin (5-hydroxytrptamine, 5-HT) can increase or decrease LG's excitability, depending on the concentration, rate, and duration of 5-HT application. Here we describe three physiological mechanisms that mediate serotonergic facilitation
... rgic facilitation of LG. Two processes strengthen electrical coupling between the primary mechanosensory afferent neurons and LG: first, an early increase in the conductance of electrical synapses between primary afferent neurons and LG dendrites and second, an early increase in the membrane resistance of LG dendrites. The increased coupling facilitates LG's synaptic response and it promotes recruitment of weakly excited afferent neurons to contribute to the response. Third, a delayed increase in the membrane resistance of proximal regions of LG increases the cell's input resistance near the initial segment. Together these mechanisms contribute to serotonergic facilitation of LG's response.