Functional Organization of Crayfish Abdominal Ganglia: II. Sensory Afferents and Extensor Motor Neurons

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: Abdominal ganglia of crayfish contain identifiable neuropils, commissures, longitudinal tracts, and vertical tracts. To determine the functional significance of this ganglionic framework, we backfilled the following types of neurons with cobalt chloride: sensory hair afferents, slow and fast extensor motor neurons, the segmental stretch receptor neurons, and their inhibitory accessory cells. After the cobalt ions were precipitated and intensified, we studied the central projections of the filled neurons within the ganglionic structures. All of the axons of these neurons exit or enter each of the first five abdominal ganglia through the second pair of nerves. Our description of the central projections of the hair afferents is the first in the literature. These afferents innervate the large ventral horseshoe neuropil (HN) in the core of each ganglion. This neuropil is homologous to the insect ventral association centers, which also process sensory information. Furthermore, we discovered that some of the crayfish afferents innervate glomeruli within the HN. The slow and fast extensor motor neurons, the stretch receptor neurons, and the accessory cells branch mostly in the dorsal part of the ganglion. We reinterpret previous identifications of the extensor neurons that were based largely on soma position. Together with our previous descriptions of the flexor motor neurons, these results allow us to relate both rapid tail-flips and slower postural movements to the structure of the segmental ganglia.

Additional Information

Journal of Comparative Neurology 266(4):495-518
Language: English
Date: 1987
cobalt backfills, commissures, glomerulus, neuropil, tracts

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