Primary and secondary motoneurons use different calcium channel types to control escape and swimming behaviors in zebrafish

Hua Wen, Kazumi Eckenstein, Vivien Weihrauch, Christian Stigloher, Paul Brehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The escape response and rhythmic swimming in zebrafish are distinct behaviors mediated by two functionally distinct motoneuron (Mn) types. The primary (1°Mn) type depresses and has a large quantal content (Qc) and a high release probability (Pr). Conversely, the secondary (2°Mn) type facilitates and has low and variable Qc and Pr. This functional duality matches well the distinct associated behaviors, with the 1°Mn providing the strong, singular C bend initiating escape and the 2°Mn conferring weaker, rhythmic contractions. Contributing to these functional distinctions is our identification of P/Q-type calcium channels mediating transmitter release in 1°Mns and N-type channels in 2°Mns. Remarkably, despite these functional and behavioral distinctions, all ~15 individual synapses on each muscle cell are shared by a 1°Mn bouton and at least one 2°Mn bouton. This blueprint of synaptic sharing provides an efficient way of controlling two different behaviors at the level of a single postsynaptic cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26429-26437
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume117
Issue number42
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2020

Keywords

  • Conotoxins
  • N-type calcium channels
  • Neuromuscular
  • P/Q-type calcium channels
  • Synaptic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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