C. elegans enteric motor neurons fire synchronized action potentials underlying the defecation motor program

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

11 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Jingyuan Jiang
  • Yifan Su
  • Ruilin Zhang
  • Haiwen Li
  • Louis Tao

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number2783
Journal / PublicationNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
Online published19 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Link(s)

Abstract

C. elegans neurons were thought to be non-spiking until our recent discovery of action potentials in the sensory neuron AWA; however, the extent to which the C. elegans nervous system relies on analog or digital coding is unclear. Here we show that the enteric motor neurons AVL and DVB fire synchronous all-or-none calcium-mediated action potentials following the intestinal pacemaker during the rhythmic C. elegans defecation behavior. AVL fires unusual compound action potentials with each depolarizing calcium spike mediated by UNC-2 followed by a hyperpolarizing potassium spike mediated by a repolarization-activated potassium channel EXP-2. Simultaneous behavior tracking and imaging in free-moving animals suggest that action potentials initiated in AVL propagate along its axon to activate precisely timed DVB action potentials through the INX-1 gap junction. This work identifies a novel circuit of spiking neurons in C. elegans that uses digital coding for long-distance communication and temporal synchronization underlying reliable behavioral rhythm.

Research Area(s)

Citation Format(s)

C. elegans enteric motor neurons fire synchronized action potentials underlying the defecation motor program. / Jiang, Jingyuan; Su, Yifan; Zhang, Ruilin et al.
In: Nature Communications, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2783, 2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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