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J Neurophysiol. 1993 Dec;70(6):2391-8.

Cholinergic modulation of the swimmeret motor system in crayfish.

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


1. The muscarinic agonist pilocarpine induced the swimmeret motor pattern in resting isolated preparations of the crayfish abdominal nerve cord and modulated the burst frequency in a dose-dependent manner. 2. Nicotine did not elicit rhythmic activity in resting isolated preparations but increased the burst frequency in active preparations. Nicotine produced higher burst frequencies than pilocarpine. 3. The acetylcholine (ACh) analogue carbachol combined the effects of pilocarpine and nicotine. It activated isolated resting preparations and increased the burst frequency as effectively as nicotine. The ACh-esterase inhibitor eserine also increased the burst frequency in active preparations. 4. Neither muscarinic nor nicotinic antagonists disrupted the proctolin-induced motor pattern, suggesting that proctolin and cholinergic agonists affect two different pathways for the activation of the swimmeret system. 5. We conclude that cholinergic interneurons participate in initiation of the swimmeret motor pattern and can modulate its burst frequency.

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