, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 361-365

Control of locomotion in the marine mollusc Clione limacina

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Abstract

The locomotor activity in the marine mollusc Clione limacina has been found to be strongly excited by serotonergic mechanisms. In the present study putative serotonergic cerebropedal neurons were recorded simultaneously with pedal locomotor motoneurons and interneurons. Stimulation of serotonergic neurons produced acceleration of the locomotor rhythm and strengthening of motoneuron discharges. These effects were accompanied by depolarization of motoneurons, while depolarization of the generator interneurons was considerably lower (if it occurred at all). Effects of serotonin application on isolated locomotor and non-locomotor pedal neurons were studied. Serotonin (5×10-7 to 1×10-6 M) affected most pedal neurons. All locomotor neurons were excited by serotonin. This suggests that serotonergic command neurons exert direct influence on locomotor neurons. Effects of serotonin on nonlocomotor neurons were diverse, most neurons being inhibited by serotonin. Some effects of serotonin on locomotor neurons could not be reproduced by neuron depolarization. This suggests that, along with depolarization, serotonin modulates voltage-sensitive membrane properties of the neurons. As a result, serotonin promotes the endogenous rhythmical activity in neurons of the C. limacina locomotor central pattern generator.