TitleRapid, corticosterone-induced disruption of medullary sensorimotor integration related to suppression of amplectic clasping in behaving roughskin newts (Taricha granulosa)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsRose, JD, Marrs, GS, Moore, FL
JournalHormones and Behavior
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Endogenously secreted or injected corticosterone (CORT) rapidly suppresses courtship clasping in male roughskin newts (Taricha granulosa) by an action on a specific neuronal membrane receptor. Previous studies, using immobilized newts, showed that CORT administration rapidly depresses excitability of reticulospinal neurons and attenuates medullary neuronal responsiveness to clasp-triggering sensory stimuli. The present study used freely moving newts to examine clasping responses and concurrently record sensorimotor properties of 67 antidromically identified reticulospinal and other medullary reticular neurons before and after CORT injection. Before CORT, reticulospinal neurons fired in close association with onset and offset of clasps elicited by cloacal pressure. Reticulospinal neurons also showed firing correlates of nonclasping motor events, especially locomotion. Neuronal activity was typically reduced during clasping and elevated during locomotion. Medullary neurons that were not antidromically invaded (unidentified neurons) usually showed sensorimotor properties that resembled those of reticulospinal neurons. Intraperitoneal CORT (but not vehicle) reduced the probability and quality of hindlimb clasping in response to cloacal pressure, especially within 5-25 min of injection. Simultaneously, responses of reticulospinal and unidentified neurons to cloacal pressure and occurrence of clasping-related activity were attenuated or eliminated. CORT effects were relatively selective, altering clasping-related neuronal activity more strongly than activity associated with nonclasping motor events. The properties of CORT effects indicate that the hormone impairs clasping by depressing processing of clasp-triggering afferent activity and by disrupting the medullary control of clasping normally mediated by reticulospinal neurons. The rapid onset of these CORT effects implicates a neuronal membrane receptor rather than genomic action of the steroid. (C) 1998 Academic Press.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000077561400007