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Mechanosensory signalling in C. elegans mediated by the GLR-1 glutamate receptor

Nature volume 378, pages 7881 (02 November 1995) | Download Citation

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Abstract

NEURONAL signalling across synapses involves activation of many neurotransmitter receptors on postsynaptic cells, glr-1 encodes a potential glutamate receptor in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans which is most similar to vertebrate AMPA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors1, glr-1 is expressed in motor neurons and inter-neurons, including interneurons implicated in the control of locomotion2. Here we investigate the contribution of glr-1 to the normal signalling of these neurons, by generating a deletion mutation in glr-1. We find that mutant worms are deficient in their ability to withdraw backwards when mechanically stimulated, but they withdraw normally in response to chemical repellents. The ASH sensory neurons mediate withdrawal responses both to mechanical stimuli and to chemical repellents3,4, and ASH makes chemical synapses with glr-1-expressing interneurons. Our results suggest that postsynaptic interneurons use different neurotransmitter receptors to process two sensory stimuli detected by one sensory neuron.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Programs in Developmental Biology, Neuroscience and Genetics, Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143–0452, USA

    • Andres V. Maricq
    • , Erin Peckol
    •  & Cornelia I. Bargmann
  2. Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Rutgers University, 679 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855, USA

    • Monica Driscoll
  3. Present address: Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA

    • Andres V. Maricq
  4. To whom correspondence should be addressed.

    • Cornelia I. Bargmann

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https://doi.org/10.1038/378078a0

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