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Many neurons receive synchronous input from heterogeneous presynaptic neurons with distinct properties. An instructive example is the crustacean stomatogastric pyloric circuit pacemaker group, consisting of the anterior burster (AB) and pyloric dilator (PD) neurons, which are active synchronously and exert a combined synaptic action on most pyloric follower neurons. Previous studies in lobster have indicated that AB is glutamatergic, whereas PD is cholinergic. However, although the stomatogastric system of the crab has become a preferred system for exploration of cellular and synaptic basis of circuit dynamics, in this species, the pacemaker synaptic output has not been carefully analyzed. We examined the synaptic properties of these neurons using a combination of single cell mRNA analysis, electrophysiology and pharmacology. The crab PD neuron expresses high levels of choline acetyltransferase and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter mRNAs, hallmarks of cholinergic neurons. In contrast, the AB neuron expresses neither cholinergic marker, but expresses high levels of vesicular glutamate transporter mRNA, consistent with a glutamatergic phenotype. Notably, in the combined synapses to follower neurons, 70-75% of the total current was blocked by putative glutamatergic blockers, but short-term synaptic plasticity remained unchanged. And although the total pacemaker current in two follower neuron types was different, this difference did not contribute to the phasing of the follower neurons. These findings provide a guide for similar explorations of heterogeneous synaptic connections in other systems and a baseline in this system for the exploration of the differential influence of neuromodulators.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of neurophysiology
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The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.
Narrowing of the pyloric canal with varied etiology. A common form is due to muscle hypertrophy (PYLORIC STENOSIS, HYPERTROPHIC) seen in infants.
Nicotine is highly toxic alkaloid. It is the prototypical agonist at nicotinic cholinergic receptors where it dramatically stimulates neurons and ultimately blocks synaptic transmission. Nicotine is also important medically because of its presence in tobacco smoke.
Agents that mimic neural transmission by stimulation of the nicotinic receptors on postganglionic autonomic neurons. Drugs that indirectly augment ganglionic transmission by increasing the release or slowing the breakdown of acetylcholine or by non-nicotinic effects on postganglionic neurons are not included here nor are the nonspecific cholinergic agonists.
Surgical incision of the PYLORUS used to treat pyloric stenoses (e.g. INFANTILE HYPERTROPHIC PYLORIC STENOSIS).