Proctolin sensitivity of the pyloric network activity recovery upon decentralization
Students will examine the physiological changes that occur to the pyloric network of crabs when important (neuromodulatory) inputs from the central nervous system are removed (decentralization). One prediction that can be made is that long term removal of neuromodulatory input will lead to an increased sensitivity of the target neurons of these modulators, and by extension of the entire network, to the now absent neuromodulators. This phenomenon of hypersensitivity has been observed in many other systems, but not in the pyloric network or its component neurons. The goal of this project is to test this prediction by examining the sensitivity of the network to proctolin by contrasting dose-response curves obtained before decentralization and after 24 hours post-decentralization. Techniques will include extracellular recordings. Computationally, a conductance-based model of this network can be constructed, and the effects on pyloric activity of varying levels of neuromodulator-activated ionic current in the different neurons of the network examined.
UBM students Diane Avecillas
and Corrado Mancini
(laboratory of Dr Jorge Golowasch