Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The two Protocerebral-Medulla 4 neurons (PM4a and b) in the locust brain have adjacent cell bodies in the medial deutocerebrum. They project through the posterior protocerebrum, forming limited arborisations en route, and enter the lobula and medulla of the ipsilateral optic lobe, where they form extensive, overlapping arborisations. The PM4a and b neurons are octopamine immunoreactive. Their octopamine content (approximately 25 pg per cell) is confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; each cell contains approximately 25 pg p-octopamine. Simultaneous intracellular recording from exposed PM4a and b cell bodies reveals that the two cells are physiologically indistinguishable. They receive multimodal sensory inputs. Tactile/mechanosensory stimuli to much of the animal's body and head, acoustic stimuli, and simple visual stimuli all give rise to e.p.s.p.s and action potentials in the PM4 cell body. Simultaneous recording from the cell body in the deutocerebrum and the axon in the lobula demonstrates that action potentials are predominantly initiated in the deutocerebrum and propagate centrifugally, towards the optic lobe. Occasionally, bright light flashes will initiate an action potential in the axon in the optic stalk, which probably propagates bidirectionally: centripetally to the cell body, and centrifugally into the optic lobe. The extensive arborisations in the lobula and medulla are therefore likely to be sites of octopamine release. Because PM4 neurons are octopaminergic, project to the optic lobe, and receive modalities of sensory input known to dishabituate the Descending Contralateral Movement Detector (DCMD) visual interneuron, it is proposed that PM4 neurons are neuromodulatory — mediating dishabituation or arousal of the visual system.
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