Cytology and immunocytochemistry of the nucleus of the lateral line lobe in the electric fish Gnathonemus petersii (Mormyridae) : evidence suggesting that GABAergic synapses mediate an inhibitory corollary discharge

Mugnaini, E.; Maler, L.

Synapse 1(1): 32-56

1987


ISSN/ISBN: 0887-4476
PMID: 2850619
DOI: 10.1002/syn.890010107
Accession: 039732503

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Abstract
Knollenorgans, low-threshold electroreceptors found in mormyrid fish, are involved primarily, if not exclusively, in communication. The rhombencephalic nucleus of the lateral line lobe (nLLL) is the target nucleus of knollenorgan afferents. Cells in the nLLL receive a few medium size to large endings with round synaptic vesicles (classified as spoon; large club; small club-, and rodlet-shaped endings) with which they form nexus (gap junction) and asymmetrical chemical synapses associated with the round synaptic vesicles. In addition these endings emit thin collaterals which terminate as small boutons on nLLL neurons; these boutons also have round vesicles and make mixed (electrotonic and chemical) synapses. In addition, cells in the nLLL receive synaptic input from numerous small boutons containing pleomorphic vesicles and making symmetric synapses. We have not found any interneurons within nLLL. Our ultrastructural analysis suggests that boutons synapsing on nLLL neurons belong to only two afferent fiber systems and that the wiring diagram of nLLL is extremely simple. We have studied the immunolocalization in nLLL of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme essential for the synthesis of GABA that is also a useful marker for this widely distributed inhibitory neurotransmitter. GAD immunoreactivity was confined to the small boutons with pleomorphic vesicles. GAD was also found in a nucleus projecting to the nLLL, here named the sublemniscal nucleus (SL), which probably conveys corollary discharge signals to the nLLL. This GABAergic projection may be responsible for the potent inhibition associated with the electric organ discharge command that has been described in these cells.

Cytology and immunocytochemistry of the nucleus of the lateral line lobe in the electric fish Gnathonemus petersii (Mormyridae): evidence suggesting that GABAergic synapses mediate an inhibitory corollary discharge