1. Neuroscience
Download icon

Two central pattern generators from the crab Cancer borealis respond robustly and differentially to extreme extracellular pH

  1. Jessica A Haley
  2. David Hampton
  3. Eve Marder  Is a corresponding author
  1. Brandeis University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 6
  • Views 1,093
  • Annotations
Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e41877 doi: 10.7554/eLife.41877


The activity of neuronal circuits depends on the properties of the constituent neurons and their underlying synaptic and intrinsic currents. We describe the effects of extreme changes in extracellular pH - from pH 5.5 to 10.4 - on two central pattern generating networks, the stomatogastric and cardiac ganglia of the crab, Cancer borealis. Given that the physiological properties of ion channels are known to be sensitive to pH within the range tested, it is surprising that these rhythms generally remained robust from pH 6.1 to pH 8.8. The pH sensitivity of these rhythms was highly variable between animals and, unexpectedly, between ganglia. Animal-to-animal variability was likely a consequence of similar network performance arising from variable sets of underlying conductances. Together, these results illustrate the potential difficulty in generalizing the effects of environmental perturbation across circuits, even within the same animal.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jessica A Haley

    Volen Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-6282-7124
  2. David Hampton

    Volen Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Eve Marder

    Volen Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    Eve Marder, Deputy Editor, eLife.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9632-5448


National Institutes of Health (R35 NS 097343)

  • Eve Marder

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: September 15, 2018
  2. Accepted: December 25, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 28, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 10, 2019 (version 2)


© 2018, Haley et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


  • 1,093
    Page views
  • 138
  • 6

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, PubMed Central, Scopus.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

  1. Further reading

Further reading

    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Neuroscience
    Sarah McCallum et al.
    Research Article Updated

    The presence and identity of neural progenitors in the enteric nervous system (ENS) of vertebrates is a matter of intense debate. Here, we demonstrate that the non-neuronal ENS cell compartment of teleosts shares molecular and morphological characteristics with mammalian enteric glia but cannot be identified by the expression of canonical glial markers. However, unlike their mammalian counterparts, which are generally quiescent and do not undergo neuronal differentiation during homeostasis, we show that a relatively high proportion of zebrafish enteric glia proliferate under physiological conditions giving rise to progeny that differentiate into enteric neurons. We also provide evidence that, similar to brain neural stem cells, the activation and neuronal differentiation of enteric glia are regulated by Notch signalling. Our experiments reveal remarkable similarities between enteric glia and brain neural stem cells in teleosts and open new possibilities for use of mammalian enteric glia as a potential source of neurons to restore the activity of intestinal neural circuits compromised by injury or disease.

    1. Neuroscience
    Hannah R Monday et al.
    Research Article Updated

    Long-lasting forms of postsynaptic plasticity commonly involve protein synthesis-dependent structural changes of dendritic spines. However, the relationship between protein synthesis and presynaptic structural plasticity remains unclear. Here, we investigated structural changes in cannabinoid-receptor 1 (CB1)-mediated long-term depression of inhibitory transmission (iLTD), a form of presynaptic plasticity that involves a protein-synthesis-dependent long-lasting reduction in GABA release. We found that CB1-iLTD in acute rat hippocampal slices was associated with protein synthesis-dependent presynaptic structural changes. Using proteomics, we determined that CB1 activation in hippocampal neurons resulted in increased ribosomal proteins and initiation factors, but decreased levels of proteins involved in regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, such as ARPC2 and WASF1/WAVE1, and presynaptic release. Moreover, while CB1-iLTD increased ubiquitin/proteasome activity, ubiquitination but not proteasomal degradation was critical for structural and functional presynaptic CB1-iLTD. Thus, CB1-iLTD relies on both protein synthesis and ubiquitination to elicit structural changes that underlie long-term reduction of GABA release.