Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Neurol. 1994 Jul 8;345(2):224-52.

Correlating gamma-aminobutyric acidergic circuits and sensory function in the electrosensory lateral line lobe of a gymnotiform fish.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Electric fish generate an electric field, which they sense with cutaneous electroreceptors. Electroreceptors project topographically onto the medullary electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL). The ELL of gymnotiform electric fish is divided into four segments specialized to detect different aspects of the electrosensory input; it is also laminated with separate laminae devoted to electroreceptive input, interneurons, projection neurons, and feedback input. We have utilized antisera to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to map the distribution of GABAergic cells and fibers in the ELL of the gymnotiform fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus. Six types of GABAergic interneurons are found in ELL: Type 2 granular cells (granular layer) project to pyramidal cells; polymorphic cells (pyramidal cell layer) project to the non-GABAergic type 1 granular cells; ovoid cells (deep neuropil layer) project bilaterally upon basilar dendrites of pyramidal cells; multipolar cells (deep neuropil layer) project bilaterally, probably to dendrites and neurons within the deep neuropil layer; and neurons of the ventral molecular layer and stellate cells (molecular layer) project to apical dendrites of pyramidal cells. GABAergic bipolar cells in the nucleus praeminentialis, a rhombencephalic structure devoted to feedback in the electrosensory system, project in relatively diffuse fashion to pyramidal cells. We hypothesize that the various GABAergic circuits of the ELL can be correlated with specific functions: type 2 granular cells with adaptation, size of receptive field center, and gain; polymorphic cells and type 1 granular cells with regulation of surround inhibition; ovoid cells with common mode rejection; and neurons of the ventral molecular layer with adaptive gain control. The feedback GABAergic input from bipolar cells of n. praeminentialis to pyramidal cells may be part of a searchlight mechanism similar to the one postulated for thalamocortical systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center