Analysis of ionic conductance mechanisms in motor cells mediating inking behavior in Aplysia californica

J Neurophysiol. 1980 Mar;43(3):630-50. doi: 10.1152/jn.1980.43.3.630.


1. The release of ink in response to a noxious stimulus is a relatively stereotyped behavior produced by strong and long-lasting stimuli. The purpose of this series of papers is to determine the quantitative extent to which the known voltage- and time-dependent ionic conductance mechanisms and synaptic influences can account for the ink gland motor neurons' firing pattern and, thus, the features of the behavior. 2. Four voltage- and time-dependent ionic currents have been analyzed. These include a fast transiet Na+-mediated inward current, a slower Ca2+-mediated inward current, a fast transient K+-mediated outward current, and a slower delayed outward current also mediated by K+ ions. 3. The current-voltage (I-V) relationships, equilibrium potentials, and steady-state activation and inactivation characteristics appear qualitatively similar to comparable currents observed in other gastropod neurons. 4. The recovery from inactivation of the delayed outward current has two time constants, one comparable to the inactivation time constant and the other more than an order of magnitude larger. The fast transient K+ current also appears to have a similar slow recovery from inactivation. 5. The synaptic current contributing to the firing pattern of the ink motor cells is a complex function of time. Initially, the synaptic conductance is high and the equilibrium potential near 0 mV. But, with time there is a gradual decrease in synaptic conductance and shift in the equilibrium potential to more depolarized levels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aplysia / physiology*
  • Behavior / physiology*
  • Exocrine Glands / innervation*
  • Ganglia / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Stereotyped Behavior / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission


  • Ion Channels