Sloppy morphological tuning in identified neurons of the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Neuronal physiology depends on a neuron's ion channel composition and unique morphology. Variable ion channel compositions can produce similar neuronal physiologies across animals. Less is known regarding the morphological precision required to produce reliable neuronal physiology. Theoretical studies suggest that moraphology is tightly tuned to minimize wiring and conduction delay of synaptic events. We utilize high-resolution confocal microscopy and custom computational tools to characterize the morphologies of four neuron types in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) of the crab Cancer borealis. Macroscopic branching patterns and fine cable properties are variable within and across neuron types. We compare these neuronal structures to synthetic minimal spanning neurite trees constrained by a wiring cost equation and find that STG neurons do not adhere to prevailing hypotheses regarding wiring optimization principles. In this highly modulated and oscillating circuit, neuronal structures appear to be governed by a space-filling mechanism that outweighs the cost of inefficient wiring.

publication date

  • February 8, 2017

published in