Cholinergic transmission via central synapses in the locust nervous system

J Comp Physiol A. 2001 Dec;187(10):825-36. doi: 10.1007/s00359-001-0253-y.


In this study we examine the nature of chemical synaptic transmission between identified filiform hair receptors on the prothoracic segment of a locust and the identified postsynaptic projection interneuron (A4I1). The effects of pressure ejected acetylcholine, and various ligands of acetylcholine receptors on the activity of the postsynaptic neuron A4I1, or on wind-elicited responses in A4I1 are reported. It is suggested that the transmitter of the afferent fibers is acetylcholine, and that fast transmission is mediated by nicotinic acetylcholine-receptors. Both nicotine and carbachol act as agonists, whereas d-tubocurarine and alpha-bungarotoxin act as antagonists. The presence of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors was also evident from the modulatory effects of muscarine, oxotremorine and pilocarpine, which were blocked by bath application of atropine. GABA, and its agonists muscimol and cis-4-amino-crotonic-acid lead to inhibition of A4I1 responses. This inhibition was prevented by the additional application of picrotoxin. This suggests involvement of a ligand-gated GABA receptor which, most likely, increases chloride conductance. Metabotropic GABA-receptors do not seem to be involved, since baclofene, diazepam and bicuculline ejections had no effects. Glutamate also inhibits wind elicited A4I1 responses. Although attempts were made to further characterize the receptor involved, tested substances such as kainic acid, glycine, CNQX or GDEE had no effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Bicuculline / pharmacology
  • Bungarotoxins / pharmacology
  • Carbachol / pharmacology
  • Crotonates / pharmacology
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / drug effects
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / physiology*
  • Glutamic Acid / physiology
  • Grasshoppers
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Muscimol / pharmacology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Nicotinic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Nicotinic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Picrotoxin / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Tubocurarine / pharmacology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology


  • Bungarotoxins
  • Crotonates
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotinic Antagonists
  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • Picrotoxin
  • 4-aminocrotonic acid
  • Muscimol
  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Nicotine
  • Atropine
  • Carbachol
  • Acetylcholine
  • Tubocurarine
  • Bicuculline