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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 16;860:51-69.

Analysis of the central pattern generator for swimming in the mollusk Clione.

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Institute of Neurobiology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901.


The pteropod mollusk Clione limacina swims by rhythmic movements of two wings. The central pattern generator (CPG) for swimming, located in the pedal ganglia, is formed by three groups of interneurons. The interneurons of the groups 7 and 8 are of crucial importance for rhythm generation. They are endogenous oscillators capable of generating rhythmic activity with a range of frequencies typical of swimming after extraction from the ganglia. This endogenous rhythmic activity is enhanced by serotonin. The interneurons 7 and 8 produce one prolonged action potential (about 100 ms in duration) per cycle. Prolonged action potentials contribute to determining the duration of the cycle phases. The interneurons of two groups inhibit one another determining their reciprocal activity. The putative transmitters of groups 7 and 8 interneurons are glutamate and acetylcholine, respectively. Transition from one phase to the other is facilitated by the plateau interneurons of group 12 that contribute to termination of one phase and to initiation of the next phase. Maintaining the rhythm generation and transition from one phase to the other is also promoted by postinhibitory rebound. The redundant organization of the swimming generator guarantees the high reliability of its operation. Generation of the swimming output persisted after the inhibitory input from interneurons 8 to 7 had been blocked by atropine. Activity of the swimming generator is controlled by a set of command neurons that activate, inhibit or modulate the operation of the swimming CPG in relation to a behaviorally relevant context.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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