Control of a central pattern generator by an identified modulatory interneurone in crustacea. II. Induction and modification of plateau properties in pyloric neurones
P S Dickinson, F Nagy
Journal of Experimental Biology
In the isolated stomatogastric nervous system of the lobster Fasus lalandii, the strong modifications of the pyloric motor pattern induced by firing of the single anterior pyloric modulator neurone (APM) are due primarily to modulation by APM activity of the regenerative membrane properties which are responsible for the 'burstiness' of all the pyloric neurones and particularly of the non-pacemaker neurones (constrictor motoneurones). This modulation has been studied under experimental
... where the main extrinsic influences usually received by the pyloric constrictor neurones (intra-network synaptic interactions, activity of pacemaker neurones, and phasic central inputs from two premotor centres) are minimal. Under these conditions a brief discharge of neurone APM induces long plateaus of firing in all of the pyloric neurones. The non-pacemaker neurones of the pyloric network are not simply passive follower neurones, but can produce regenerative depolarizations (plateau potentials) during which the neurones fire spikes. The ability of the pyloric constrictor neurones to produce plateau potentials (plateau properties) contributes greatly to the generation of the rhythmical pyloric motor pattern. When these neurones spontaneously express their plateau properties, firing of neurone APM amplifies these properties. When most of the central inputs usually received by the pyloric constrictor neurones are experimentally suppressed, these neurones can no longer produce plateau potentials. In such conditions, firing of the single modulatory neurone APM can reinduce plateau properties of the pyloric constrictor neurones. In addition, firing in APM neurone slows down the active repolarization phase which terminates the plateau potentials of pyloric constrictor neurones. This effect is long-lasting and voltage-dependent. Modulation by APM of the plateau properties of the pyloric neurones also changes the sensitivity of these neurones to synaptic inputs. This effect can explain the strong modifications that an APM discharge exerts on a current pyloric motor pattern. Moreover, it might render the motoneurones of the pyloric pattern generator more sensitive to inputs from a command oscillator, and contribute to switching on the pyloric motor pattern.