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In this study, we describe the development of electrical properties of Drosophila embryonic central neurons in vivo. Using whole-cell voltage clamp, we describe the onset of expression of specific voltage- and ligand-gated ionic currents and the first appearance of endogenous and synaptic activity. The first currents occur during midembryogenesis [late(More)
We examine the role of synaptic activity in the development of identified Drosophila embryonic motorneurons. Synaptic activity was blocked by both pan-neuronal expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeTxLC) and by reduction of acetylcholine (ACh) using a temperature-sensitive allele of choline acetyltransferase (Cha(ts2)). In the absence of synaptic(More)
In most multicellular organisms direct cell-cell communication is mediated by the intercellular channels of gap junctions. These channels allow the exchange of ions and molecules that are believed to be essential for cell signalling during development and in some differentiated tissues. Proteins called connexins, which are products of a multigene family,(More)
The trp (transient receptor potential) gene encodes a Ca2+ channel responsible for the major component of the phospholipase C (PLC) mediated light response in Drosophila. In trp mutants, maintained light leads to response decay and temporary total loss of sensitivity (inactivation). Using genetically targeted PIP2-sensitive inward rectifier channels(More)
During the development of the nervous system embryonic neurons are incorporated into neural networks that underlie behaviour. For example, during embryogenesis in Drosophila, motor neurons in every body segment are wired into the circuitry that drives the simple peristaltic locomotion of the larva. Very little is known about the way in which the necessary(More)
Dynamic changes in synaptic connectivity and strength, which occur during both embryonic development and learning, have the tendency to destabilize neural circuits. To overcome this, neurons have developed a diversity of homeostatic mechanisms to maintain firing within physiologically defined limits. In this study, we show that activity-dependent control of(More)
In the mammalian CNS, glial cells expressing excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) tightly regulate extracellular glutamate levels to control neurotransmission and protect neurons from excitotoxic damage. Dysregulated EAAT expression is associated with several CNS pathologies in humans, yet mechanisms of EAAT regulation and the importance of glutamate(More)
Innexins are one of two gene families that have evolved to permit neighbouring cells in multicellular systems to communicate directly. Innexins are found in prechordates and persist in small numbers in chordates as divergent sequences termed pannexins. Connexins are functionally analogous proteins exclusive to chordates. Members of these two families of(More)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene and is characterized by progressive muscle wasting. A number of Duchenne patients also present with mental retardation. The dystrophin protein is part of the highly conserved dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex (DGC) which accumulates at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and at(More)
The ability to regulate intrinsic membrane excitability, to maintain consistency of action potential firing, is critical for stable neural circuit activity. Without such mechanisms, Hebbian-based synaptic plasticity could push circuits toward activity saturation or, alternatively, quiescence. Although now well documented, the underlying molecular components(More)