The two paired giant ganglion cells (PGC's) found in each ganglion of the leech central nervous system fire synchronously in response to certain sensory input. Polarizing current passed into either of these cells is seen to displace the membrane potentials of both cells, the voltage attenuation between the two somata ranging from 2 to 5 times. This attenuation factor remains unchanged when the direction of the polarizing current is reversed, and remains about the same when the other cell of the pair is directly polarized. When one of the PGC's is partially depolarized with outward current, a repetitive train of impulses is generated. Each spike is followed by a spike in the other cell. Occasionally, a small subspike potential is seen in place of a follower spike. This potential appears to differ in shape and time course from synaptic potentials elicited by afferent input to these cells, and appears rather to be an electrotonic potential derived from the prejunctional impulse in the stimulated PGC. It is proposed that transmission between these cells is electrical, being accomplished by a flow of local circuit current across a non-rectifying junction or connection to the spike-initiating region of the other PGC.

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