All-or-none Control of the Bursting Properties of the Pacemaker Neurons of the Lobster Pyloric Pattern Generator

J Neurobiol. 1982 Sep;13(5):447-58. doi: 10.1002/neu.480130506.


In Crustacea the central pattern generator for the pyloric motor rhythm (filtration to the midgut) is known to be located within the stomatogastric ganglion (STG); its cycling activity is known to be organized by three endogenous burster neurons acting as pacemakers and driving 11 follower neurons. In Homarus, recordings from the isolated stomatogastric nervous system (Fig. 1) indicate that (1) the pyloric output can be generated only when the STG is afferented (i.e., connected to the more rostral oesophageal and commissural ganglia) (Fig. 2) and (2) the deafferentation of the STG results in a complete loss of the bursting properties of the pacemaker neurons (Fig. 4). Manipulation of the STG inputs responsible for unmasking the properties of the pacemakers strongly suggests that (1) they are not phasic inputs (Fig. 5) and (2) they are long-term acting inputs (Fig. 6). These results provide evidence for a neural all-or-none control of the bursting properties of the pacemaker neurons of a motor pattern generator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Ganglia / physiology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Nephropidae / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Pylorus / innervation*
  • Synaptic Transmission*


  • Calcium