From somata of the pacemaker neurons in the Squilla heart ganglion, pacemaker potentials for the spontaneous periodic burst discharge are recorded with intracellular electrodes. The electrical activity is composed of slow potentials and superimposed spikes, and is divided into four types, which are: (a) "mammalian heart" type, (b) "slow generator" type, (c) "slow grower" type, and (d) "slow deficient" type. Since axons which are far from the somata do not produce slow potentials, the soma and dendrites must be where the slow potentials are generated. Hyperpolarization impedes generation of the slow potential, showing that it is an electrically excitable response. Membrane impedance increases on depolarization. Brief hyperpolarizing current can abolish the plateau but brief tetanic inhibitory fiber stimulation is more effective for the abolition. A single stimulus to the axon evokes the slow potential when the stimulus is applied some time after a previous burst. Repetitive stimuli to the axon are more effective in eliciting the slow potential, but the depolarization is not maintained on continuous stimulation. Synchronization of the slow potential among neurons is achieved by: (a) the electrotonic connections, with periodic change in resistance of the soma membrane, (b) active spread of the slow potential, and (c) synchronization through spikes.
Pacemaker Potentials for the Periodic Burst Discharge in the Heart Ganglion of a Stomatopod, Squilla oratoria
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Akira Watanabe, Shosaku Obara, Toyohiro Akiyama; Pacemaker Potentials for the Periodic Burst Discharge in the Heart Ganglion of a Stomatopod, Squilla oratoria . J Gen Physiol 1 March 1967; 50 (4): 839–862. doi: https://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.50.4.839
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