Serotonin-containing cells 21 and 61 strongly excite a swim central pattern generator (CPG) neurone, cell 208, in nearby segmental ganglia in the leech Macrobdella decora. This excitatory effect is apparently independent of activity in the swim-initiating neurone cell 204, which monosynaptically excites cell 208 (Weeks, 1982b). Cell 208 excites cell 21, apparently directly. This is the first identified direct pathway for feedback from the swim central pattern generator to a swim initiator neurone. Focally applied serotonin has no effect on the soma of cell 208, but causes both excitatory and inhibitory responses in cell 208 when applied to different places within the neuropile. Cell 61 polysynaptically excites distant, posterior cells 208. This excitation is mediated at least in part by the activation of nearby cells 208, which polysynaptically excite posterior cells 208. Cell 208 is dye-coupled intraganglionically to a newly identified pair of neurones, designated cells 18. Cell 208 also excites posterior cells 18, apparently directly. This interaction may be the pathway whereby cell 61 polysynaptically excites posterior cells 208. During swimming, cell 18's membrane potential oscillates in phase with cell 208. Intracellular current injection into cell 18 during swimming perturbs the swim motor pattern. Therefore, cell 18 qualifies as a candidate swim CPG neurone.

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