Sequential developmental acquisition of neuromodulatory inputs to a central pattern-generating network

Valérie S. Fénelon, Valerie Kilman, Pierre Meyrand, Eve Marder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The activity of the adult stomatogastric ganglion (STG) depends on a large number of aminergic and peptidergic modulatory inputs. Our aim is to understand the role of these modulatory inputs in the development of the central pattern-generating networks of the STG. Therefore, we analyze the developmental and adult expressions of three neuropeptides in the stomatogastric nervous system of the lobsters Homarus americanus and Homarus gammarus by using wholemount immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. In adults, red pigment-concentrating hormone (RPCH)-like, proctolin-like, and a tachykinin-like immunoreactivity are present in axonal projections to the STG. At 50% of embryonic development (E50), all three peptides stain the commissural ganglia and brain, but only RPCH- and proctolin-like immunoreactivities stain axonal arbors in the STG. Tachykinin-like immunoreactivity is not apparent in the STG until larval stage II (LII). The RPCH-immunoreactive projection to the STG consists of two pairs of fibers. One pair stains for RPCH immunoreactivity at E50; the second RPCH- immunoreactive pair does not stain until about LII. One pair of the RPCH fibers double labels for tachykinin-like immunoreactivity. The adult complement of neuromodulatory inputs is not fully expressed until close to the developmental time at which major changes in the STG motor patterns occur, suggesting that neuromodulators play a role in the tuning of the central pattern generators during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-351
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 7 1999


  • Homarus americanus
  • Homarus gammarus
  • Proctolin
  • Red pigment-concentrating hormone
  • Stomatogastric ganglion
  • Tachykinin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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