Sensory neurons in the leech excite the S interneuron, which in turn excites motoneurons that shorten the leech, although activity in the S cell reportedly cannot by itself shorten the animal. Experiments were performed in semi-intact leeches using established dishabituation and sensitization protocols. S-cell activity increased during reflexive shortening once the animal was sensitized or dishabituated with a strong shock. S-cell activity otherwise was not associated with shortening. To test the role of the S-cell in dishabituation and sensitization of the shortening reflex, single S cells were ablated in vivo by intracellular injections of pronase. S-cell lesions reduced but did not eliminate dishabituation; however, sensitization was completely disrupted. This was consistent with recent evidence that separate processes contribute to dishabituation and sensitization. Since the S cell in each ganglion is a link in a rapidly conducting chain along the length of the animal, it may be sufficient to break the chain at a single point to eliminate sensitization.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|Issue number||11 I|
|State||Published - Nov 15 1994|
- S-cell ablation
ASJC Scopus subject areas