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Developmental changes in spinal neuronal properties, motor network configuration and neuromodulation at free-swimming stages of Xenopus tadpoles

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Abstract

We describe a novel preparation of the isolated brainstem and spinal cord from pro-metamorphic tadpole stages of the South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) that permits whole cell patch-clamp recordings from neurons in the ventral spinal cord. Previous research on earlier stages of the same species has provided one of the most detailed understandings of the design and operation of a CPG circuit. Here we have addressed how development sculpts complexity from this more basic circuit. The preparation generates bouts of fictive31 swimming activity either spontaneously or in response to electrical stimulation of the optic tectum, allowing an investigation into how the neuronal properties, activity patterns and neuromodulation of locomotor rhythm generation change during development. We describe an increased repertoire of cellular responses compared to younger larval stages and investigate the cellular level effects of nitrergic neuromodulation as well as the development of a sodium pump-mediated ultra-slow afterhyperpolarisation (usAHP) in these free-swimming larval animals.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-795
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume119
Issue number3
Early online date15 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

    Research areas

  • Development, Locomotion, Nitric oxide, Neuromodulation, Xenopus

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