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Cephalopod NeurobiologyNeuroscience Studies in Squid, Octopus and Cuttlefish$
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N. Joan Abbott, Roddy Williamson, and Linda Maddock

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198547907

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198547907.001.0001

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Synaptic transmission in the squid stellate ganglion

Synaptic transmission in the squid stellate ganglion

17 Synaptic transmission in the squid stellate ganglion
Cephalopod Neurobiology

R. Llinás

M. Sugimori

Oxford University Press

Synaptic transmission in the squid stellate ganglion is studied in this chapter. The giant synapse is the last junction in a three-link chain of giant neurons that form the escape system in squid. This chain is a bilaterally symmetrical system that originates with the first-order giant neurons located one on each side of the ventral magnocellular lobe of the brain. Each of the two first-order neurons sends its axon toward the midline, where it fuses with its counterpart to form a cytoplasmic bridge. After forming this bridge the two axons course caudally to make axo-axonic synapses with the second-order giant cells in the dorsal magnocellular lobe. The axons of the second-order neurones in turn leave the brain in the palliai nerves and terminate in the stellate ganglia. In each stellate ganglion, the axon of the second-order generates eight to 10 presynaptic terminal digits. Each of these terminals contacts a third-order axon, the last link in the chain. The giant synapses are axo-axonic junctions between the axon of the second-order giant neurone in the brain and the giant axons of the stellate ganglion. Presynaptic membrane depolarization (release coupling at chemical junctions), the most common triggering signal for release, is achieved by an influx of calcium into the presynaptic terminal. A synaptic transmitter is released from specialized sites characterized by the confluence of an intracellular calcium concentration increase, the biochemical cascade triggered by the calcium, and the intracellular organelles involved in this secretory event.

Keywords:   synaptic transmission, squid stellate ganglion, neurons, axo-axonic, dorsal magnocellular lobe, depolarization, presynaptic, intracellular organelles

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