A newly identified buccal interneuron initiates and modulates feeding motor programs in aplysia

J Neurophysiol. 2003 Oct;90(4):2190-204. doi: 10.1152/jn.00173.2003. Epub 2003 Jun 11.


Despite considerable progress in characterizing the feeding central pattern generator (CPG) in Aplysia, the full complement of neurons that generate feeding motor programs has not yet been identified. The distribution of neuropeptide-containing neurons in the buccal and cerebral ganglia can be used as a tool to identify additional elements of the feeding circuitry by providing distinctions between otherwise morphologically indistinct neurons. For example, our recent study revealed a unique and potentially interesting unpaired PRQFVamide (PRQFVa)-containing neuron in the buccal ganglion. In this study, we describe the morphological and electrophysiological characterization of this novel neuron, which we designate as B50. We found that activation of B50 is capable of producing organized rhythmic output of the feeding CPG. The motor programs elicited by B50 exhibit some similarities as well as differences to motor programs elicited by the command-like cerebral-to-buccal interneuron CBI-2. In addition to activating the feeding CPG, B50 may act as a program modulator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Aplysia / drug effects
  • Aplysia / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Hexamethonium / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interneurons / drug effects
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Mouth Mucosa / drug effects
  • Mouth Mucosa / physiology*


  • Hexamethonium