Hyperactivation of B-type motor neurons results in aberrant synchrony of the Caenorhabditis elegans motor circuit. Academic Article uri icon


  • Excitatory acetylcholine motor neurons drive Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion. Coordinating the activation states of the backward-driving A and forward-driving B class motor neurons is critical for generating sinusoidal and directional locomotion. Here, we show by in vivo calcium imaging that expression of a hyperactive, somatodendritic ionotropic acetylcholine receptor ACR-2(gf) in A and B class motor neurons induces aberrant synchronous activity in both ventral- and dorsal-innervating B and A class motor neurons. Expression of ACR-2(gf) in either ventral- or dorsal-innervating B neurons is sufficient for triggering the aberrant synchrony that results in arrhythmic convulsions. Silencing of AVB, the premotor interneurons that innervate B motor neurons suppresses ACR-2(gf)-dependent convulsion; activating AVB by channelrhodopsin induces the onset of convulsion. These results support that the activity state of B motor neurons plays an instructive role for the coordination of motor circuit.

publication date

  • March 20, 2013