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J Neurophysiol. 2002 Jan;87(1):322-32.

Morphological characteristics and central projections of two types of interneurons in the visual pathway of Hermissenda.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, Texas 77225, USA. terry.crow@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

The synaptic interactions between photoreceptors in the eye and second-order neurons in the optic ganglion of the nudibranch mollusk Hermissenda are well characterized. However, the higher-order neural circuitry of the visual system, consisting of cerebropleural interneurons that receive synaptic input from photoreceptors and project to pedal motor neurons that mediate visually guided behaviors, is only partially understood. In this report we have examined the central projections of two identified classes of cerebropleural interneurons that receive excitatory or inhibitory synaptic input from identified photoreceptors. The classification of the interneurons was based on both morphological and electrophysiological criteria. Type I interneurons received monosynaptic excitatory or inhibitory synaptic input from identified photoreceptors and projected to postsynaptic targets within the cerebropleural ganglion. Type II interneurons, characterized here for the first time, received polysynaptic excitatory or inhibitory synaptic input from identified photoreceptors and projected to postsynaptic targets in either the ipsilateral pedal ganglion or the contralateral cerebropleural ganglion. Type I interneurons exhibited unique intraganglionic projections to different regions of the cerebropleural ganglion, depending on whether they received excitatory or inhibitory synaptic input from identified photoreceptors. Type I interneurons that received monosynaptic excitatory input from identified B photoreceptors terminated near the cerebropleural commissure and had multiple regions of varicosities located at branches that projected from the primary axon. Type I interneurons that received monosynaptic inhibitory input from identified B photoreceptors projected to the anterior cerebropleural ganglion and exhibited varicosities localized to the terminal region of the primary axonal process. Type II interneurons that received polysynaptic inhibitory input from identified photoreceptors projected to the contralateral cerebropleural ganglion. Most type II interneurons that projected to the pedal ganglia received polysynaptic excitatory input from identified photoreceptors. These results indicate that there is at least one additional interneuron in the higher-order visual circuit between type I interneurons and pedal motor neurons responsible for the generation of phototactic locomotion in Hermissenda.

PMID:
11784753
DOI:
10.1152/jn.00319.2001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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