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The role of putative glutamatergic neurons and their connections in the locomotor central pattern generator of the mollusk, Clione limacina.

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A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.


In the pteropod mollusk Clione limacina, locomotor rhythm is produced by the central pattern generator (CPG), due mainly to the activity of interneurons of groups 7 (active in the phase of the dorsal flexion of the wings) and 8 (active in the phase of the ventral flexion). Each of these groups excites the neurons active in the same phase of the locomotor cycle, and inhibits the neurons of the opposite phase. In this work, the nature of connections formed by group 7 interneurons was studied. Riluzole (2-amino-6-trifluoro-methoxybenzothiazole), which is known to inhibit the presynaptic release of glutamate, suppressed the action of the type 7 interneurons onto the follower neurons of the same and of the antagonistic phase of the locomotor cycle. The main pattern of rhythmic activity of CPG with alternation of two phases could be maintained after suppression of inhibitory connections from group 7 interneurons to antagonistic neurons. This suggests redundancy of the mechanisms controlling swimming rhythm generation, which ensures the reliable operation of the system.

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