Neurobiology of Polyorchis. II. Structure of effector systems

Journal of Neurobiology
A N Spencer


The gross and fine morphology of the major effector systems in the anthomedusan, Polyorchis penicillatus, is described and discussed in relation to the known physiological and behavioral properties of these systems. Swimming is controlled by an anastomosing network of giant neurons within the inner nerve ring and radial nerves. Although these neurons may be coupled by gap junctions it is likely that they form a syncytium. The photosensitivity of the "giants" is attributed to reflexive membranes within the cytoplasm. Giant neurons act as both the pre- and postsynaptic cell when forming synapses with other neurons of the inner nerve ring. Neuromuscular synapses between "giants" and the striated swimming muscle are found around the margin and along the radii. Swimming muscle cells are connected laterally by gap junctions and end-to-end by desmosomes which are sometimes elaborated with extra-thick filaments. Unstriated sphincter and radial muscles, the major muscles associated with crumpling, are both greatly folded over mesogloeal ridges and have processes that cross the mesogloea to contact the ring and radial canals, respectively. Synapses or other sites that might be responsible for exciting these muscles during crumpling have ...Continue Reading


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