Document Detail

Nonspiking local interneurons in insect leg motor control. I. Common layout and species-specific response properties of femur-tibia joint control pathways in stick insect and locust.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7623085     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. Locusts (Locusta migratoria) and stick insects (Carausius morosus) exhibit different strategies for predator avoidance. Locusts rely primarily on walking and jumping to evade predators, whereas stick insects become cataleptic, catalepsy forming a major component of the twig mimesis exhibited by this species. The neuronal networks that control postural leg movements in locusts and stick insects are tuned differently to their specific behavioral tasks. An important prerequisite for the production of catalepsy in the stick insect is the marked velocity dependency of the control network, which appears to be generated at the level of nonspiking local interneurons. We examined interneuronal pathways in the network controlling the femur-tibia joint of the locust middle leg and compared its properties with those described for the stick insect middle leg. It was our aim to identify possible neural correlates of the species-specific behavior with regard to postural leg motor control. 2. We obtained evidence that the neuronal networks that control the femur-tibia joints in the two species consist of morphologically and physiologically similar--and thus probably homologous--interneurons. Qualitatively, these interneurons receive the same input from the femoral chordotonal organ receptors and they drive the same pools of leg motoneurons in both species. 3. Pathways that contribute to the control of the femur-tibia joint include interneurons that support both "resisting" and "assisting" responses with respect to the motoneuron activity that is actually elicited during reflex movements. Signal processing via parallel, antagonistic pathways therefore appears to be a common principle in insect leg motor control. 4. Differences between the two insect species were found with regard to the processing of velocity information provided by the femoral chordotonal organ. Interneuronal pathways are sensitive to stimulus velocity in both species. However, in the locust there is no marked velocity dependency of the interneuronal responses, whereas in the same interneurons of the stick insect it is pronounced. This characteristic was maintained at the level of the motoneurons controlling the femur-tibia joint. Pathways for postural leg motor control in the locust thus lack an important prerequisite for the generation of catalepsy, that is, a marked velocity dependency.
A Büschges; H Wolf
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurophysiology     Volume:  73     ISSN:  0022-3077     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurophysiol.     Publication Date:  1995 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-08-30     Completed Date:  1995-08-30     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375404     Medline TA:  J Neurophysiol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1843-60     Citation Subset:  IM    
Fachbereich Biologie, Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Grasshoppers / physiology*
Hindlimb / innervation,  physiology*
Insects / physiology*
Interneurons / physiology*
Motor Neurons / physiology
Movement / physiology*
Neural Pathways / physiology
Species Specificity

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