Fictive feeding activity was monitored in the buccal ganglia of semi-intact preparations of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, to examine the effects of nitric oxide (NO) released from motoneurons innervating the esophagus on the feeding response. The present results suggest that first; even the low concentration of constitutive NO precisely regulates the feeding rhythm by suppressing high frequency feeding responses; second, that the high concentration of NO released after activation of the feeding central pattern generator following appetitive stimulation of the lips suppresses the feeding rate, resulting in recurrent inhibition. This is the first direct evidence that NO can function to suppress rhythmic activity in the brain. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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