The neuropeptide red pigment concentrating hormone affects rhythmic pattern generation at multiple sites

P. S. Dickinson, C. Mecsas, J. Hetling, K. Terio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. The cardiac sac network, which controls the rhythmic contractions of the cardiac sac in the foregut of crustaceans, is distributed throughout the stomatogastric nervous system, including the oesophageal ganglion (OG), the commissural ganglia (CGs), and the stomatogastric ganglion (STG). A red pigment-concentrating hormone (RPCH)-like peptide is likewise widely distributed. 2. The effects that bath application of the neuropeptide RPCH to the different ganglia has on the cardiac sac pattern were studied. 3. RPCH applied to the STG, the OG, or the CGs elicited bursting activity in all the known components of the cardiac sac pattern, including the two motor neurons, cardiac sac dilators 1 and 2 (CD1 and CD2), and the inferior ventricular nerve (ivn) fibers. 4. A cardiac sac pattern was also elicited when RPCH was applied to either the STG, the OG, or the CGs after synapses in that ganglion had been blocked by low Ca2+ saline containing 20 mM Co2+. 5. These data suggest that the ivn fibers are sensitive to RPCH and respond to it by generating bursting activity at or near their terminals in all four ganglia. 6. Application of RPCH to either the STG or the OG also caused an increase in the amplitude of the postsynaptic potential (PSP) from the ivn fibers to both CD1 and CD2. The increase was largest in the ganglion to which the RPCH was applied. 7. Repeated stimulation of the ivn mimicking the bursts that occur during cardiac sac activity, also caused an increase in PSP amplitude, and so facilitation resulting from activation of ivn bursting could account for a portion of the increased amplitude seen in RPCH. 8. The amplitude of the PSP recorded in the ganglion bathed in RPCH increased before any bursting began in the ivn fibers, suggesting that the recorded increase in PSP amplitude is due partially to a direct effect of RPCH on the ivn terminals that are bathed in RPCH. 9. These data show that a pattern-generating network can be modulated by a single modulator at more than one site and that the resultant modulations may differ depending on the site of release of the modulator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1475-1483
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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