The long term goal of the research in this proposal is to understand the neural mechanisms controlling the expression of arousal. The research will use combined behavioral, biochemical, and electrophysiological approaches to investigate the role of peptide transmitters and co-transmitters in the expression of arousal states. lt is hypothesized that intrinsic co-transmitter modulators in buccal motoneurons function to stabilize motor contractions under varying conditions. Extrinsic modulatory systems may override this autoregulation to produce plasticity in the system, which may be needed during different behavioral states or during different classes of behavior executed by the buccal mass. The proposed projects include: 1) Purification and sequencing of bioactive peptides In the ARC muscle. 2) Study of the characteristics of the release of peptides from motoneurons. 3) Localization and functional characterization of peptidergic neurons innervating the ARC muscle. 4) Analysis of a model of the functional organization of the motor control of the buccal mass.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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Romanova, Elena V; McKay, Natasha; Weiss, Klaudiusz R et al. (2007) Autonomic control network active in Aplysia during locomotion includes neurons that express splice variants of R15-neuropeptides. J Neurophysiol 97:481-91
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Proekt, Alex; Jing, Jian; Weiss, Klaudiusz R (2007) Multiple contributions of an input-representing neuron to the dynamics of the aplysia feeding network. J Neurophysiol 97:3046-56
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Brezina, V; Weiss, K R (2000) The neuromuscular transform constrains the production of functional rhythmic behaviors. J Neurophysiol 83:232-59

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