Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: The effects of extracellular calcium on bursting pace-maker neurons in Aplysia
Student Author(s): Sison, Aimee
Faculty Advisor(s): Thompson, Stuart
Pages: 26
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1992
Abstract: Autorhythmic bursting pacemaker cells have been hypothesized to function by a calcium-coupled system. Bursting pacemaker cells in Aplysia californica, the R15's and LQB's were flushed with saline solutions containing .01, 10, and 60 nM concentrations of Ca2+. I found that the burst duration is affected by the extracellular concentration of Ca2+, shortening in high Ca2+ and lengthening in low Ca2+ solutions. This is consistent with an increase and a decrease in C current (calcium dependent potassium current) activation. The mechanism behind the interburst interval, however, is still unclear. The changes in its duration point to a homeostatic mechanism.