Esophageal mechanoreceptors in the feeding system of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis

J Neurophysiol. 1989 Apr;61(4):727-36. doi: 10.1152/jn.1989.61.4.727.


1. We identify esophageal mechanoreceptor (OM) neurons of Lymnaea with cell bodies in the buccal ganglia and axons that branch repeatedly to terminate in the esophageal wall. 2. The OM cells respond phasically to gut distension. Experiments with a high magnesium/low calcium solution suggest that the OM neurons are primary mechanoreceptors. 3. In the isolated CNS preparation, the OM cells receive little synaptic input during the feeding cycle. 4. The OM cells excite the motoneurons active in the rasp phase of the feeding cycle. 5. The OM cells inhibit each of the identified pattern-generating and modulatory interneurons in the buccal ganglia. Experiments with a saline rich in magnesium and calcium suggest that the connections are monosynaptic. 6. Stimulation of a single OM cell to fire at 5-15 Hz is sufficient to terminate the feeding rhythm in the isolated CNS preparation. 7. We conclude that these neurons play a role in terminating feeding behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Esophagus / innervation*
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Lymnaea / physiology*
  • Mechanoreceptors / anatomy & histology
  • Mechanoreceptors / cytology
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology