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Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 209–217 | Cite as

Physiological characterization of electroreceptors in the lampreysIchthyomyzon unicuspis andPetromyzon marinus

  • David Bodznick
  • David G. Preston
Article

Summary

  1. 1.

    We examined the physiological properties and distribution of electroreceptors in the skin of adult lampreys (vertebrates, class: Agnatha) by recording electroreceptor afferent fiber activity in the anterior lateral line nerve. Stimulation was with uniform or local electric fields in the water around the fish.

     
  2. 2.

    Lampreys possess ampullary electroreceptors widely distributed over the head and trunk (Fig. 1) that are sensitive to weak, low-frequency electric fields. The response thresholds to uniform fields are 1–10 μV/cm and the dynamic range of the receptors includes 4 log units of intensity (Fig. 3). Maximum sensitivity with sinusoidal currents is to frequencies ≦ 1 Hz (Fig. 4).

     
  3. 3.

    Like the ampullary receptors of elasmobranchs and other non-teleost fishes, lamprey electroreceptors are excited by weak cathodal fields (i.e. negative at the receptor opening relative to a distant reference) and inhibited by anodal fields. With very intense stimuli (1–10 mV/cm) the responses reverse so that strong cathodal fields are inhibitory and anodal fields are excitatory (Fig. 3). These results indicate that similar transduction mechanisms exist in the electroreceptors of lampreys and non-teleost jawed fishes. Likewise, as in other non-teleosts, all electroreceptors in lampreys including those on the trunk are innervated by the anterior lateral line nerve.

     
  4. 4.

    The similarities in receptor physiology and innervation taken in conjunction with known similarities in medullary organization indicate that electrosensory systems of lampreys and non-teleost gnathostome fishes are homologous.

     

Keywords

Local Electric Field Fiber Activity Physiological Characterization Sinusoidal Current Intense Stimulus 
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.

Abbreviations

ALLN

anterior lateral line nerve

PLLN

posterior lateral line nerve

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Bodznick
    • 1
  • David G. Preston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA

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