The identification of two inhibitory cells in each segmental ganglion of the leech and studies on the ionic mechanism of the inhibitory junctional potentials produced by these cells

Masashi Sawada, Joyce M. Wilkinson, David J. McAdoo, Richard E. Coggeshall

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The present study identifies a pair of inhibitory cells that are located on each anterolateral margin of a leech segmental ganglion. These cells, which we label as cells 119, are electrically interconnected. These cells give rise to inhibitory junctional potentials (ijp's) in contralateral longitudinal body wall muscle cells. The latencies of the ijp's following spikes in cell 119 are variable. The ijp's are caused by transient increases in premeability to the Cl ion. Previous studies demonstrated that 5‐HT causes a hyperpolarization of body wall muscle cells by increasing the permeability of muscle membrane to the Cl ion. Accordingly, 5‐HT was searched for in the 119 cell bodies, but autoradiography, fine structure, and gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry gave no indication that 5‐HT was present in these cells. However, the variable latencies of the ijp's may indicate that there is a neuron interposed between cell 119 and the muscle cells. If this is the case, then the interposed neuron should be analyzed for 5‐HT. Further experiments to locate the terminals of cells 119 and the cell bodies of the presumed interposed neurons are thus desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-445
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1976


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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