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Acta Biol Hung. 2004;55(1-4):129-35.

The locust frontal ganglion: a multi-tasked central pattern generator.

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Department of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel.


The locust frontal ganglion (FG) constitutes a major source of innervation to the foregut dilator muscles and thus plays a key role in control of foregut movements. This paper reviews our recent studies on the generation and characteristics of FG motor outputs in two distinct and fundamental locust behaviors: feeding and molting. In an in vitro preparation, isolated from all descending and sensory inputs, the FG was spontaneously active and generated rhythmic multi-unit bursts of action potentials, which could be recorded from all efferent nerves. Thus the FG motor pattern is generated by a central pattern generator within the ganglion. Intracellular recordings suggest that only a small fraction (10-20%) of the FG 100 neurons demonstrate rhythmic activity. The FG motor output in vivo was relatively complex, and strongly dependent on the locust's physiological and behavioral state. Rhythmic activity of the foregut was found to depend on the amount of food present in the crop; animals with full crop demonstrated higher FG burst frequency than those with empty crop. At the molt, the FG generates a distinct motor pattern that could be related to air-swallowing behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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