The hyperpolarization-activated inward cationic current (Ih) is known to regulate the rhythmicity, excitability, and synaptic transmission in heart cells and many types of neurons across a variety of species, including some pyloric and gastric mill neurons in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) in Cancer borealis and Panulirus interruptus. However, little is known about the role of Ih in regulating the gastric mill dynamics and its contribution to the dynamical bifurcation of the gastric mill and pyloric networks. We investigated the role of Ih in the rhythmic activity and cellular excitability of both the gastric mill neurons (medial gastric, gastric mill) and pyloric neurons (pyloric dilator, lateral pyloric) in Homarus americanus. Through testing the burst period between 5 and 50 mM CsCl, and elimination of postinhibitory rebound and voltage sag, we found that 30 mM CsCl can sufficiently block Ih in both the pyloric and gastric mill neurons. Our results show that Ih maintains the excitability of both the pyloric and gastric mill neurons. However, Ih regulates slow oscillations of the pyloric and gastric mill neurons differently. Specifically, blocking Ih diminishes the difference between the pyloric and gastric mill burst periods by increasing the pyloric burst period and decreasing the gastric mill burst period. Moreover, the phase-plane analysis shows that blocking Ih causes the trajectory of slow oscillations of the gastric mill neurons to change toward the pyloric sinusoidal-like trajectories. In addition to regulating the pyloric rhythm, we found that Ih is also essential for the gastric mill rhythms and differentially regulates these two dynamics.
- hyperpolarization-activated inward cationic current
- central pattern generator
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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