, Volume 530, Issue 1–3, pp 155–162 | Cite as

Primary inhibition: a mechanism for sudden stoppage of metachrony in ctenophores

  • Anthony G. Moss


The ctenophores Beroë cucumis and Pleurobrachia pileus exhibit rapid stoppage of comb plate beating, without accompanying muscular contraction, in response to an orally applied mechanical stimulus. This phenomenon, termed ‘primary inhibition’ by Göthlin, was re-examined by high-speed video microscopy and intracellular recording. The most remarkable features of this event were that (1) inhibition was associated with only one or two comb plates in the row, (2) inhibition occurred nearly anywhere in the ciliary beat cycle, (3) the inhibited plate acted as a mechanical blockade to the propagation of additional metachronal waves, and (4) a single depolarizing post-synaptic potential occurred nearly simultaneously with comb plate inhibition. B. cucumis and P. pileus have evolved a neurally controlled behavior to rapidly stop comb plate metachrony.


Comb plate cilia metachrony neurociliary regulation Beroë cucumis Pleurobrachia pileus 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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