Electrophysiological characteristics of peripheral neurons and their synaptic connections in the intestinal nerve of Helix pomatia L.

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Abstract

1. 1. Nerve cells in the intestinal nerve of Helix pomatia were studied, with respect to their localization, light microscopic morphology and electrophysiological properties, in a semi-intact preparation consisting of the ganglionic ring, intestinal nerve trunk and heart-kidney complex. 2. 2. After retrograde labelling with Co2+ through the cardiac nerve, a population of nerve cell bodies, 30-40 μm in diameter, can be observed around the first bifurcation of the intestinal nerve trunk and along the finer nerve branches. In addition, a few large elongated neuronal perikarya, 80-90 μm in length, are present at the base of the branching point of the intestinal nerve trunk. 3. 3. On the basis of synaptic responses evoked either by the electrical stimulation of the peripheral nerves running to the central ganglia or by the tactile stimulation of the heart and kidney, the nerve cells could be divided into three groups. 4. 4. Blockage of the synaptic transmission in the central nervous system with a high Mg2+, low Ca2+-containing medium decreases or blocks the responses of the peripheral neurons evoked by the stimulation of peripheral nerves and peripheral organs. This observation suggests that the neuronal elements of the CNS are in a presynaptic position to, and may have a facilitatory influence on, the neurons located in the intestinal nerve. 5. 5. The present results support our previous suggestion that the peripheral neurons located in the intestinal nerve trunk may participate in the integrative processes contributing to the control of visceral functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology
Volume82
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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