Neuromodulation in Small Networks
Neuromodulators are signaling molecules that induce long-lasting or network-wide changes in electrical activity, canonically through metabotropic G-coupled protein receptors. In contrast to classical neurotransmission, which directly opens ion channels, neuromodulators can act either synaptically or extra-synaptically (e.g., hormonal pathways) to modify neuronal activity. Because neuromodulators can simultaneously target many neurons, our understanding of their function on networks has progressed furthest in small systems with known connectivity. In particular, much research has been conducted within invertebrate central pattern generator (CPG) networks. These networks exhibit spontaneous electrical discharges that drive rhythmic muscle contractions to produce simple behaviors such as chewing, breathing, and locomotion.
Neuromodulation, while often receiving less attention than direct synaptic communication between neurons, is a vital and ubiquitous...
- Alon U (2006) An introduction to systems biology: design principles of biological circuits. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Doi A, Ramirez J-M (2010) State-dependent interactions between excitatory neuromodulators in the neuronal control of breathing. J Neurosci 16:8251–8262Google Scholar
- Guirguis MS, Wilkens JL (1995) The role of the cardioregulatory nerves in mediating heart rate responses to locomotion, reduced stroke volume, and neurohormones in Homarus americanus. Biol Bull 188:179–185Google Scholar
- Kaczmarek LK, Levitan IB (1987) Neuromodulation: the biochemical control of neuronal excitability. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Kupfermann I, Weiss KR (2001) Motor program selection in simple model systems. Curr Opin Neurobiol 11:673–677Google Scholar
- Li C, Kim K (2008) Neuropeptides WormBook, ed. The C. elegans Research Community, WormBook, doi/10.1895/wormbook.1.142.1, http://www.wormbook.org
- O’Leary T, Wyllie DJA (2011) Neuronal homeostasis: time for a change? J Physiol (Lond) 589:4811–4826Google Scholar
- Stevens JS, Cashman CR, Smith CM, Beale KM, Towle DW, Christie AE, Dickinson PS (2009) The peptide hormone pQDLDHVFLRFamide (crustacean myosuppressin) modulates the Homarus americanus cardiac neuromuscular system at multiple sites. J Exp Biol 212:3961–3976Google Scholar
- Williams AH, O’Leary T, Marder E (2013b) Homeostatic regulation of neuronal excitability. Scholarpedia 8:1656Google Scholar