Functional Organization of Crayfish Abdominal Ganglia: I. The Flexor Systems

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Esther M. Leise, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: For insect ganglia, Altman (Advances in Physiological Science, Vol. 23. Neurobiology of Invertebrates. New York: Pergamon Press, pp. 537-555, '81) proposed that individual neuropils control different motor activities. A corollary of this hypothesis is that motor neurons involved in many behavioral functions should branch in more neuropils than those active in fewer behaviors. In crayfish, the abdominal fast-flexor muscles are active only during the generation of the powerstroke for tailflips, whereas the slow-flexor muscles are involved in the maintenance of body posture. The slow flexors are thus active in many of the crayfish's behavioral activities. To test the generality of Altman's idea, we filled groups of crayfish fast-flexor and slow-flexor motor neurons with cobalt chloride and described their shapes with respect to the ganglionic structures through which they pass. Individual fast flexors were also filled intracellularly with HRP. Ganglia containing well-filled neurons were osmicated, embedded in plastic, and sectioned. Unstained sections were examined by light microscopy and pertinent sections were photographed. We found that the paths of the larger neurites were invariant, that the dendritic domains of fast and slow motor neurons occupied distinctive sets of neuropils, and that dendrites of slow motor neurons branched in more ganglionic structures than did those of fast motor neurons. These results are consistent with Altman's hypothesis.

Additional Information

Journal of Comparative Neurology. 253(1): 25-45.
Language: English
Date: 1986
axon tract, backfill, commissure, neuropil, motor neurons

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