Neuronal morphologies built for reliable physiology in a rhythmic motor circuit
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It is often assumed that highly-branched neuronal structures perform compartmentalized computations. However, previously we showed that the Gastric Mill (GM) neuron in the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion (STG) operates like a single electrotonic compartment, despite having thousands of branch points and total cable length >10 mm (Otopalik et al., 2017a; 2017b). Here we show that compact electrotonic architecture is generalizable to other STG neuron types, and that these neurons present direction-insensitive, linear voltage integration, suggesting they pool synaptic inputs across their neuronal structures. We also show, using simulations of 720 cable models spanning a broad range of geometries and passive properties, that compact electrotonus, linear integration, and directional insensitivity in STG neurons arise from their neurite geometries (diameters tapering from 10-20 µm to < 2 µm at their terminal tips). A broad parameter search reveals multiple morphological and biophysical solutions for achieving different degrees of passive electrotonic decrement and computational strategies in the absence of active properties.
© The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in eLife 8 (2019): e41728. doi: 10.7554/eLife.41728.
Suggested CitationOtopalik, A. G., Pipkin, J., & Marder, E. (2019). Neuronal morphologies built for reliable physiology in a rhythmic motor circuit. Elife, 8, e41728
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