Acetylcholine and lobster sensory neurones

David L. Barker, Edward Herbert, John G. Hildebrand, Edward A. Kravitz

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85 Scopus citations


Experiments are presented in support of the hypothesis that acetylcholine functions as a sensory transmitter in the lobster nervous system. 1. Several different peripheral sensory structures incorporate radioactive choline into acetylcholine. The preparation most enriched in sensory as opposed to other nervous elements (the antennular sense organs of the distal outer flagellum) does not incorporate significant amounts of glutamate, tyrosine or tryptophan into any of the other major transmitter candidates. 2. There is a parallel between the distribution of the enzyme choline acetyltransferase and the proportion of sensory fibres in nervous tissue from many parts of the lobster nervous system. 3. Isolated sensory axons contain at least 500 times as much choline acetyltransferase per cm of axon as do efferent excitatory and inhibitory fibres. 4. Abdominal ganglia and root stumps show a decline in the rate of incorporation of choline into acetylcholine 2 to 8 weeks after severing the first and second roots bilaterally (leaving the connectives and third roots intact). Extracts of the root stumps exhibit a significantly lower level of choline acetyltransferase 2 weeks after this operation. 5. Curare and atropine partially block an identified sensory synapse in the lobster abdominal ganglion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-229
Number of pages25
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 1972

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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