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J Comp Neurol. 2003 Nov 17;466(3):366-76.

Local commissural interneurons integrate information from intersegmental coordinating interneurons.

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Section of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, University of California, Davis, California 95616-8519, USA.


The information that coordinates movements of swimmerets on different segments of the crayfish abdomen is conducted by interneurons that originate in each abdominal ganglion. These interneurons project axons to neighboring ganglia and beyond. To discover the anatomy of these axons in their target ganglia, we used Neurobiotin and dextran-Texas Red microelectrodes to fill them near their targets. Coordinating axons coursed through these target ganglia close to the midline and extended only a few short branches that did not approach the lateral neuropils. Two of the three types of coordinating axons made direct synaptic connections with a class of local commissural interneurons that relayed the information to targets in the swimmeret pattern-generating circuits. These commissural interneurons, named here ComInt 1 neurons, followed a particular route to cross the midline and reach their targets. ComInt 1 neurons were nonspiking; they received EPSPs from the coordinating axons near the midline and transmitted this information to their targets in the lateral neuropils using graded transmission. The output of each ComInt 1 was restricted to a single local circuit and had opposite effects on the power-stroke and return-stroke motor neurons driven by that circuit. ComInt 1 neurons were direct postsynaptic targets of both descending and ascending coordinating axons that originated in other anterior and posterior ganglia. Because of phase differences in the impulses in these different coordinating axons, their signals arrived simultaneously at each ComInt 1. We discuss these findings in the context of alternative models of the intersegmental coordinating circuit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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