Synaptic actions of identified peptidergic neuron R15 in Aplysia. III. Activation of the large hermaphroditic duct

A. Alevizos, K. R. Weiss, J. Koester

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23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the study described in this and the preceding two companion papers was to determine the synaptic actions of neuron R15, an endogenously bursting neurosecretory cell in Aplysia, as a step toward determining its physiological function. The results described in this paper demonstrate that activity in R15 activates anterograde peristaltic movements in the segment of the large hermaphroditic duct through which eggs move during egg-laying behavior. This action is mimicked by R15α1 peptide, a putative transmitter of R15. The neuroendocrine bag cells, which initiate egg laying when they fire in a population burst, have been shown by others to excite R15. Our data suggest that R15 mediates excitatory effects of the bag cells on the large hermaphroditic duct. Taken with the results of the two companion papers, these data support the hypothesis that R15 integrates various aspects of egg-laying behavior. The desensitization of R15's postsynaptic actions may complement the long-lasting refractoriness of the bag cells described by others, with both effects contributing to the episodic nature of egg laying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-1290
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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