We have already identified central neurons for cardioinhibition and cardioacceleration in Bathynomus, an isopod crustacean. The 1st thoracic ganglion (TG1) has cardioinhibitory neurons, which we call CIs, while the 2nd and 3rd thoracic ganglia (TG2 and TG3) have cardioacceleratory neurons, which we call CA1s and CA2s. We examined neuronal pathways for cardioinhibitory reflexes in whole animal preparations, using intracellular and extracellular recording methods. Cardiac inhibition in response to a variety of external stimuli was mediated by activation of CIs and inhibition of both CAs. When preparations had the ventral nerve cord intact, CIs were activated by excitatory postsynaptic potentials and CAs were inhibited by inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in response to tactile stimuli applied to sensilla setae on appendages and afferent stimuli applied to ganglionic roots of the thoracic ganglia. However, stimulation of ganglionic nerve roots of TG2 and TG3, or tactile stimulation of the body surface, failed to evoke inhibition of CAs in preparations in which both the cerebral ganglion and TG1 had been excised. These results suggest that TG1 is an indispensable central region for the excitation of CI and for inhibition of CA neurons, induced by tactile stimuli and by stimuli applied to nerve roots of TG2 and TG3.
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