Physiological and developmental aspects of intersegmental coordination in xenopus embryos and tadpoles

Mark J. Tunstall, Keith T. Sillar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The rostro-caudal delay in the activation of the segmentally organised trunk muscles is a consistent feature of forward swimming in the tadpoles of Xenopus laevis. Our evidence suggests that such a delay may be achieved because rostral neurons are associated with a higher level of excitability than caudal neurons and so fire first on cycles of swimming. In addition we have found developmentally related changes in the properties of rostro-caudal delays in Xenopus, whereby the duration of motor nerve activity increases, a constant phaselag becomes established and there is increased sensitivity to 5-HT. These changes may be directly related to the incorporation of descending serotonergic neurones into the spinal cord network, so providing a means of determining the role played by identifiable neural elements in intersegmental coordination in the Xenopus preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Neuroscience
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1993

Keywords

  • 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • Development
  • Intersegmental coordination
  • Spinal cord
  • Xenopus

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