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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01100

Nociceptive pathway in the cockroach Periplaneta americana

Stav Emanuel1 and  Frederic Libersat1*
  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Detecting and avoiding environmental threats such as those with a potential for injury is of crucial importance for an animal's survival. In this work, we examine the nociceptive pathway in an insect, the cockroach Periplaneta americana, from detection of noxious stimuli to nocifensive behavior. We show that noxious stimuli applied to the cuticle of cockroaches evoke responses in sensory axons that are distinct from tactile sensory axons in the sensory afferent nerve. We also reveal differences in the evoked response of post-synaptic projection interneurons in the nerve cord to tactile versus noxious stimuli. Noxious stimuli are encoded in the cockroach nerve cord by fibers of diameter different from that of tactile and wind sensitive fibers with a slower conduction velocity of 2-3 m/s. Furthermore, recording from the neck-connectives show that the nociceptive information reaches the head ganglia. Removing the head ganglia results in a drastic decrease in the nocifensive response indicating that the head ganglia and the nerve cord are both involved in processing noxious stimuli.

Keywords: Nociception, insect, Interneurons, Nocifensive, extracellular recording and stimulation, Nociceptive receptors

Received: 14 Mar 2019; Accepted: 08 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Emanuel and Libersat. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Frederic Libersat, Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, libersat@bgu.ac.il