Oculomotor Neurons in Fish: Electrotonic Coupling and Multiple Sites of Impulse Initiation

Science  24 Oct 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3904, pp. 520-524
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3904.520


Oculomotor neurons are electrotonically coupled in three teleosts. Electron microscopy revealed axosomatic synapses with close appositions of pre- and postynaptic membranes. Similar junctions are associated with electrotonic coupling in many other cases. Stimulation of the ipsilateral eighth nerve usually initiated impulses at sites distant from the cell bodies; stimulation of the ipsilateral ophthalmic nerve initiated impulses close to the cell bodies. Electrotonic coupling may synchronize impulses arising near the, cell bodies to generate synchronous muscle contractions. Impulses arising distant from the cell bodies may lead to contractions of graded strength.