Proceedings of The Physiological Society

University of Bristol (2001) J Physiol 536P, S105


cAMP modulates electrical coupling between sensory hair cells in the squid statocyst

A. Chrachri and R. Williamson

Marine Biological Association of the UK, Plymouth and University of Plymouth, UK

The squid Alloteuthis subulata has a sophisticated statocyst-based balance system that enables it to detect its own orientation and movements. As a part of a programme to understand the operating principles of such systems, we are studying how the statocyst mechanosensory hair cells and primary afferent neurones interconnect and interact with each other. Intracellular recording from neighbouring primary or secondary mechanosensory hair cells have already shown that electrical coupling is widespread within the statocyst sensory epithelium. We have also demonstrated that the strength of the electrical coupling between the primary sensory hair cells is decreased in the presence of acetylcholine, and increased by application of dopamine. In contrast, these agents had no effect on the strength of electrical coupling between the secondary sensory hair cells.

Changes in cell coupling can be mediated through intracellular second messenger systems and adenosine 3

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements