Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 158, Issue 4, pp 489–503 | Cite as

Myogenic oscillatory activity in the pyloric rhythmic motor system of Crustacea

  • Pierre Meyrand
  • Maurice Moulins


  1. 1.

    The dorsal dilator muscle of the pylorus of the shrimpPalaemon (Fig. 1) is innervated, as in lobsters, by two electrically coupled excitatory motorneurons, the pyloric dilator (PD) neurons located in the stomatogastric ganglion (Fig. 2). The PD motorneurons are conditional oscillators and, when bursting, they rhythmically drive the pyloric dilator muscle (Fig. 3).

  2. 2.

    When isolated the pyloric dilator muscle can undergo spontaneous rhythmic contractions with associated electrical membrane events. This spontaneous rhythmic activity is not of neural origin since: (1) it cannot be correlated with any injury discharge in the cut motor nerve; (2) it remains unaffected by bath application of tetrodotoxin to suppress neuronal spiking (Fig. 4).

  3. 3.

    Electrical stimulation of the motor nerve or membrane depolarization with injected current shows that an otherwise quiescent pyloric dilator muscle can express either a non-oscillatory state (Fig. 5A, C, E) or an oscillatory state (Fig. 5 B, D, F). It is always possible to switch from the non-oscillatory. state to the oscillatory state by bath application of dopamine (Fig. 6); it is concluded that the muscle is a conditional oscillator.

  4. 4.

    In its oscillatory state the pyloric dilator muscle displays properties characteristic of endogenous oscillators. These include: (1) phasic response to tonic stimulation; (2) voltage-dependence of the cycle frequency of the rhythmic activity (Fig. 7); (3) ability of cycling to be reset by a brief stimulus (Fig. 8); (4) ability to be entrained by repetitive stimuli (Fig. 9).

  5. 5.

    The pyloric dilator neuromuscular system ofPalaemon thus appears to consist of a conditional motorneuronal oscillator (PD) and a conditional muscle oscillator; the second can be entrained by the first (Fig. 10). The functional implications of such a neuromuscular control system are tested (Fig. 11) and discussed.



Rhythmic Activity Oscillatory State Bath Application Rhythmic Contraction Rhythmic Motor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



commissural ganglia


central pattern generator


pyloric dilator muscle




lateral ventricular nerve


pyloric dilator neuron


stomatogastric ganglion




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Meyrand
    • 1
  • Maurice Moulins
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Neurobiologie et Physiologie ComparéesC.N.R.S. and Université Bordeaux I. place PeyneauArcachonFrance

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