Primary inhibition: a mechanism for sudden stoppage of metachrony in ctenophores

  • Anthony G. Moss
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 178)

The ctenophores Beroë cucumis and Pleurobrachia pileus exhibit rapid stoppage of comb plate beating, without accompanying muscular contraction, in response to an orally applied mechanical stimulus. This phenomenon, termed ‘primary inhibition’ by GÖthlin, was re-examined by high-speed video microscopy and intracellular recording. The most remarkable features of this event were that (1) inhibition was associated with only one or two comb plates in the row, (2) inhibition occurred nearly anywhere in the ciliary beat cycle, (3) the inhibited plate acted as a mechanical blockade to the propagation of additional metachronal waves, and (4) a single depolarizing post-synaptic potential occurred nearly simultaneously with comb plate inhibition. B. cucumis and P. pileus have evolved a neurally controlled behavior to rapidly stop comb plate metachrony.


Intracellular Recording Power Stroke Sudden Stoppage Primary Inhibition Beat Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony G. Moss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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