Convergent effects of neuropeptides on the feeding central pattern generator of Aplysia californica

Michael R. Due, Yanqing Wang, Michael A. Barry, Jian Jing, Carrie N. Reaver, Klaudiusz R. Weiss, Elizabeth C. Cropper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


These experiments focus on an interneuron (B63) that is part of the feeding central pattern generator (CPG) in Aplysia californica. Previous work has established that B63 is critical for program initiation regardless of the type of evoked activity. B63 receives input from a number of different elements of the feeding circuit. Program initiation occurs reliably when some are activated, but we show that it does not occur reliably with activation of others. When program initiation is reliable, modulatory neuropeptides are released. For example, previous work has established that an ingestive input to the feeding CPG, cerebral buccal interneuron 2 (CBI-2), releases feeding circuit activating peptide (FCAP) and cerebral peptide 2 (CP-2). Afferents with processes in the esophageal nerve (EN) that trigger egestive motor programs release small cardioactive peptide (SCP). Previous studies have described divergent cellular and molecular effects of FCAP/CP-2 and SCP on the feeding circuit that specify motor activity. Here, we show that FCAP/CP-2 and SCP additionally increase the B63 excitability. Thus, we show that peptides that have well-characterized divergent effects on the feeding circuit additionally act convergently at the level of a single neuron. Since convergent effects of FCAP/CP-2 and SCP are not necessary for specifying the type of network output, we ask why they might be important. Our data suggest that they have an impact during a task switch, i.e., when there is a switch from egestive to ingestive activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1459
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • central pattern generator
  • feeding
  • modulation
  • mollusk
  • neuropeptide


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