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Structural and functional changes in an identified cricket neuron after separation from the soma. II. Functional changes.

  • Clark, R D
Published Article
The Journal of comparative neurology
Publication Date
Nov 15, 1976
PMID: 186493


Physiological and behavioural effects of separation from the soma were examined in isolated arborization and isolated axon segments of an identified motor neuron in the Polynesian field cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus. The identified neuron, the contralateral dorsal longitudinal motor neuron of the metathoracic ganglion (CDLM), has an arborization most of which lies contralateral to its soma within the ganglion. Midline lesions in the ganglion separated CDLM into a distal segment composed of the axon and most of the arborization, and a proximal segment made up of the remaining arborization, neurite and soma. Isolated axonal segments were produced by cutting the nerve containing the CDLM axon. The function of the neuron-muscle system composed of CDLM, its pre-synaptic inputs, and its innervated muscle bundle was examined in contrl and experimentally operated animals. Extracellular recording assessed function in the axon. Electrical or tactil stimulation was used to excite pre-synaptic inputs to the CDLM arborization. Intracellular recording determined changes in post-synaptic potentials and miniature end-plate potentials in the muscle bundle innervated by CDLM. Normal axonal conduction, competence to respond to pre-synaptic input, neuron-muscle transmission, and miniature end-plate potential appearance can remain in the isolated arborization preparation. Physiological viability is longer in the cricket isolated arborization than in other insect distal segments described. Survival times of axonal conduction and the competence of the isolated arborization to respond to pre-synaptic input are roughly correlated with disappearance of the whole distal segment at 100 or more postoperative days. A naturally-occurring breakdown of the metathoracic dorsal longitudinal muscles in Teleogryllus eventually prevents measurements of post-synaptic potentials and miniature end-plate potentials. Normal post-synaptic function mediated by the distal arborization is maintained up to this breakdown, to a maximum of 44 days postoperative. The distal axonal segment of CDLM degenerates physiologically within four days postoperative, a time course approximating that of degeneration in vertebrate peripheral nerve distal axons.

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