Intersegmental interneurons serving larval and pupal mechanosensory reflexes in the moth Manduca sexta

Brian Waldrop, Richard B. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

1. Intersegmental interneurons (INs) that participate in the larval bending reflex and the pupal gin trap closure reflex were identified in the isolated ventral nerve cord of Manduca sexta. INs 305, 504, and 703 show qualitatively different responses in the pupa than in the larva to electrical stimulation of sensory neurons that are retained during the larval-pupal transition to serve both reflexes. Action potentials produced by current injected into the 3 interneurons excite motor neurons that are directly involved in the larval and pupal reflexes. The excitation of the motor neurons is not associated with EPSPs at a fixed latency following action potentials in the interneurons, and thus there do not seem to be direct synaptic connections between the interneurons and the motor neurons. 2. IN 305 (Fig. 2) has a lateral soma, processes in most of the dorsal neuropil ipsilateral to the soma, and a crossing neurite that gives rise to a single contralateral descending axon. IN 305 is excited by stimulation of the sensory nerve ipsilateral to its soma in the larva and the pupa. Stimulation of the sensory nerve contralateral to its soma produces an inhibitory response in the larva, but a mixed excitatory/inhibitory response to the identical stimulus in the pupa. 3. IN 504 (Fig. 3) has a lateral soma, processes throughout most of the neuropil ipsilateral to the soma, and a crossing neurite that bifurcates to give rise to a process extending to the caudal limit of the neuropil and an ascending axon. IN 504 is excited by stimulation of the sensory nerve ipsilateral to its soma in both larvae and pupae, while the response to stimulation of the sensory nerve contralateral to its soma is inhibitory in the larva but mixed (excitatory/inhibitory) in the pupa. 4. IN 703 has a large antero-lateral soma, a neurite that extends across to the contralateral side giving rise to processes located primarily dorsally in both ipsilateral and contralateral neuropils, and two axons that ascend and descend in the connectives contralateral to the soma (Fig. 4). IN 703 responds to stimulation of the sensory nerves on either side of the ganglion, but the form of the response changes during the larval-pupal transition. In the larva, the response consists of very phasic (0-2 spikes) excitation, but in the pupa there is a prolonged excitation that greatly outlasts the stimulus (Fig. 6). 5. While the resting potential, and thus the relative spike threshold, of IN 703 appears to change during the larval-pupal transition (Fig. 9), hyperpolarizing IN 703 during a response shows that this difference can not account for the change in response properties (Fig. 10). Rather, IN 703 in the pupa is influenced by interneuronal inputs in the pupa whose effects are not expressed in the larva (Fig. 11).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Volume171
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1992

Keywords

  • Identified interneuron
  • Insect nervous system
  • Metamorphosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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