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      Ring neuron control of columellar motor neurons during egg-laying behavior in the pond snail.

      Journal of neurobiology

      Synaptic Transmission, physiology, Peripheral Nerves, Oviposition, Neurosecretory Systems, Neurons, Neural Inhibition, innervation, Muscles, Motor Neurons, Lymnaea, Ganglia, Female, Evoked Potentials, Central Nervous System, Axons, Animals

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          Egg-laying in Lymnaea is characterized by the stereotyped egg-laying behavior (ELB), composed of foot contractions and shell movements. Egg-laying can be induced by a clean water stimulus, that triggers a discharge of the neuroendocrine caudo-dorsal cells (CDCs), which release the ovulation hormone into the blood. A part of the behavior is lost when egg-laying is triggered by hormone injection, indicating that during natural stimulus-induced or spontaneous egg-laying this part (the first phase) may be controlled by neuronal events in the CNS triggered by (a) factor(s) not released to the blood. The authors have identified an unpaired neuron, the ring neuron, that is excited during an in vitro afterdischarge of the CDCs, and which, by its numerous axonal branches in the pedal ganglia, modulates motorneurons of the columellar muscle, which controls shell movements. These motor-neurons, identified as such in reduced preparations by 1 for 1 muscle potentials and elements in the connecting nerve, all receive either excitatory or inhibitory input from the ring neuron, as well as from an unknown neuron which has common input of the ring neuron and the motorneurons. The action of the CDCs on the ring neuron cannot be mimicked by the ovulation hormone, and we therefore conclude that the first part of the ELB is probably caused by a nonhormonal local action of the CDCs on the ring neuron and possibly the common input neuron.

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