Acetylcholine and factor I appear to be transmitter substances of excitatory and inhibitory regulatory nerve fibers supplying the sensory neurons of stretch receptor organs of the crayfish.
Sudden application of a low concentration of acetylcholine causes the impulse frequency to jump to a peak value. But immediately the frequency falls again and gradually reaches a steady state which is not far above the previous frequency level. If the acetylcholine is now withdrawn there follows a silent period after which the frequency returns to its original level. The time course of these events is identical with that of adaptations to sudden increase or decrease of stretch.
Factor I in sufficiently low concentrations causes an immediate fall in impulse frequency (silent period) which is followed by a return to a value near the previous frequency level. Withdrawal of factor I is followed by excitation and again return of the frequency to the rate measured before the application of factor I. The time course of these phenomena is identical with that of adaptations to sudden decrease and increase of stretch.
It is suggested that adaptation may be a property not only of sensory neurons but of neurons in general and that even central neurons may be considered as receptor neurons inasmuch as they respond to chemically transmitted excitatory and inhibitory stimuli.