Title

Identification of GABA producing cells in the nervous system of Hirudo verbana.

Date

5-29-2014 2:00 PM

End Time

29-5-2014 4:00 PM

Location

Werner University Center (WUC) Pacific Room

Department

Biology

Session Chair

Ava Howard

Session Title

Research in the Biological Sciences

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Michael Baltzley

Presentation Type

Poster session

Abstract

In the leech Hirudo verbana, the stimulation of a mechanoreceptor cell acts both to excite the neuron innervating that receptive field and to inhibit neurons that innervate surrounding receptive fields. The method by which one mechanosensory cell inhibits other cells is not fully understood, but it is hypothesized that the neurotransmitter GABA is released by interneurons to inhibit these mechanosensory neurons. To test this hypothesis, it is necessary to first identify the GABA producing cells in the leech nervous system. Using antibodies to tag GABA, we identified three bilaterally symmetrical pairs of neurons located anteriorly in each midbody ganglion. Our next step is to use electrophysiological techniques to characterize the neurons that produce GABA, and determine whether these cells have synaptic connections to the mechanosensory neurons.

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May 29th, 2:00 PM May 29th, 4:00 PM

Identification of GABA producing cells in the nervous system of Hirudo verbana.

Werner University Center (WUC) Pacific Room

In the leech Hirudo verbana, the stimulation of a mechanoreceptor cell acts both to excite the neuron innervating that receptive field and to inhibit neurons that innervate surrounding receptive fields. The method by which one mechanosensory cell inhibits other cells is not fully understood, but it is hypothesized that the neurotransmitter GABA is released by interneurons to inhibit these mechanosensory neurons. To test this hypothesis, it is necessary to first identify the GABA producing cells in the leech nervous system. Using antibodies to tag GABA, we identified three bilaterally symmetrical pairs of neurons located anteriorly in each midbody ganglion. Our next step is to use electrophysiological techniques to characterize the neurons that produce GABA, and determine whether these cells have synaptic connections to the mechanosensory neurons.