Document Detail

Excitation of motoneurons by the Mauthner axon in goldfish: complexities in a "simple" reticulospinal pathway.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1629765     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. The Mauthner cell in fish and amphibians initiates an escape behavior that has served as a model system for studies of the reticulospinal control of movement. This behavior consists of a very rapid bend of the body and tail that is thought to arise from the monosynaptic excitation of large primary motoneurons by the Mauthner cell. Recent work suggests that the excitation of primary motoneurons might be more complex than a solely monosynaptic connection. To examine this possibility, I used intracellular recording and staining to study the excitation of primary motoneurons by the M cell. 2. Simultaneous intracellular recordings from the M axon and ipsilateral primary motoneurons show that firing the M cell leads to complex postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) in the motoneurons. These PSPs usually have three components: an early, small, slow depolarization (component 1), a later, large, fast depolarization (component 2), and an even later, large, long-lasting depolarization (component 3). The first component has a latency of 0.52 +/- 0.15 (SD) ms, (n = 27) and most probably is a monosynaptic input from the M cell. This study focused on the two subsequent, less-understood parts of the PSP. Motoneurons typically fire off the second part of the PSP. This is usually (27 of 33 cells) the largest component, and it has a mean amplitude of 6.24 +/- 3.33 (SD) mV (n = 33) and a half-decay time of 0.44 +/- 0.18 (SD) ms (n = 27). The mean amplitude of the third component is 3.20 +/- 1.7 (SD) mV (n = 35), and its half-decay is 6.73 +/- 2.66 (SD) ms (n = 35). The latency of the second component averages 0.66 +/- 0.21 (SD) ms (n = 32), indicating that there are few synapses in the pathway mediating it. 3. One candidate pathway for the second component of the PSP involves a class of descending interneurons (DIs) that are monosynaptically, chemically excited by the M cell and appear in light microscopy to contact motoneurons. Simultaneous intracellular recordings from the M axon, a DI, and a primary motoneuron show that the interneurons are electrotonically coupled to motoneurons and produce the fast, second component of the PSP. Direct excitation of an interneuron leads to a very short-latency (less than 0.2 ms), fast PSP in a motoneuron similar to the second component of the PSP produced by the M axon. The short latency and fatigue resistance of this connection indicate it is electrotonic, and this is supported by evidence for DC coupling between the two cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
J R Fetcho
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurophysiology     Volume:  67     ISSN:  0022-3077     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurophysiol.     Publication Date:  1992 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-08-17     Completed Date:  1992-08-17     Revised Date:  2014-09-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375404     Medline TA:  J Neurophysiol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1574-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Axons / physiology*
Efferent Pathways / physiology
Interneurons / physiology
Motor Neurons / physiology*
Neural Pathways / physiology
Reticular Formation / physiology*
Spinal Cord / physiology*
Synapses / physiology
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