Letter | Published:

Two Inhibitory Fibres forming Synapses with a Single Nerve Cell in the Lobster

Nature volume 180, pages 14901491 (28 December 1957) | Download Citation



IN the stretch receptors of lobsters described by Alexandrawicz1 the dendrites of sensory neurons lie in a fine muscle strand. Stretch-deformation by passive pull or by contraction of the receptor muscle leads to depolarization of the dendrites and of the adjacent cell body and axon region, thus setting up sensory discharges. In most lobster receptors Alexandrowicz also found two efferent neurons, a thick and thin ‘accessory’ fibre, forming synapses in the dendritic region of the sensory cells. Both accessory fibres divide and send one branch to the slowly adapting neuron and the other to the fast adapting receptor cell (Fig. 1). It has already been shown that stimulation of the thick accessory fibre can promptly suppress the sensory discharge caused by stretch of the muscle strand2. This axon therefore has a specific inhibitory role.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    , Quart. J. Micro. Sci., 92, 163 (1951).

  2. 2.

    , and , J. Gen. Physiol., 39, 155 (1955).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Physiology, McGill University, Montreal.

    • A. S. V. BURGEN
  2. Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore 5, Maryland. Aug. 17.

    • S. W. KUFFLER


  1. Search for A. S. V. BURGEN in:

  2. Search for S. W. KUFFLER in:

About this article

Publication history




Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.