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Proprioceptive neurons of chordotonal organs in the crab, Cancer magister Dana (Decapoda, Brachyura)

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image of Crustaceana

The proprioceptive organs for the limbs of Cancer magister contain sensory endings embedded in an elastic strand to detect stretch and relaxation. The dynamic movement-sensitive neurons are of two types: those sensitive to relaxation and those sensitive to stretch of the chordotonal strand, which corresponds to flexion or extension of the joints. The cell bodies of sensory neurons associated with the planar chordotonal organs in the limbs are arranged within the elastic strand, whereas the organs that are more like a cord have the cell bodies of the dynamic movement-sensitive neurons outside the connective tissue strand. This study observed that the dynamic movement-sensitive neurons that are sensitive to relaxation have larger cell bodies than cells sensitive to stretch. No stretch-sensitive neurons were observed for the cord-shaped chordotonal organs. The static, position-sensitive neurons are distal in all the organs and have the smallest cell bodies. Mapping the functional distribution of the neurons has revealed that the various types of chordotonal organs have a similar pattern in soma location as in function. The purpose of this study is to describe this anatomical arrangement of the sensory neurons on a subset of chordotonal organs within the limb of the crab, Cancer magister so that species comparisons can be made, in the future. Les organes propriorécepteurs des pattes de Cancer magister contiennent des terminaisons sensorielles incluses dans une bande élastique qui détectent l'étirement et le relâchement. Les neurones sensibles au mouvement sont de deux sortes: ceux sensibles au relâchement et ceux sensibles à l'étirement de la bande chordotonale, mouvements qui correspondent à la flexion ou l'extension des articulations. Les corps cellulaires des neurones sensoriels associés aux organes chordotonaux aplatis sont arrangés à l'intérieur de la bande élastique, alors qu'au niveau des organes en forme de corde, les corps cellulaires des neurones sensibles au mouvement sont à l'extérieur de la bande élastique. Cette étude a montré que les neurones sensibles aux mouvements de relâchement présentent des corps cellulaires plus grands que les cellules sensibles à l'étirement. Aucun neurone sensible à l'étirement n'a été observé au niveau des organes chordotonaux en forme de corde. Les neurones sensibles à une position statique sont distaux dans tous les organes et présentent les corps cellulaires les plus petits. La cartographie de la distribution fonctionnelle des neurones a montré que les différents types d'organes chordotonaux présentent un même arrangement cellulaire et une même fonction. Le but de cette étude est de décrire l'arrangement anatomique des neurones sensoriels des organes chordotonaux à l'intérieur des pattes du crabe Cancer magister afin de permettre des comparaisons futures.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0225, U.S.A.


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