The effects of potassium and muscle homogenate on proprioceptive responses in crayfish and crab

Cole Malloy, Viresh Dayaram, Sarah Martha, Brenda Alvarez, Ikenna Chukwudolue, Nadera Dabbain, Dlovan D. mahmood, Slavina Goleva, Tori Hickey, Angel Ho, Molly King, Paige Kington, Matthew Mattingly, Samuel Potter, Landon Simpson, Amanda Spence, Henry Uradu, Jacob Van Doorn, Kristin Weineck, Robin L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Proprioception of limbs and joints is a basic sensory function throughout most of the animal kingdom. It is important to understand how proprioceptive organs and the associated sensory neurons function with altered environments such as increased potassium ion concentrations ([K+]) from diseased states, ionic imbalances, and damaged tissues. These factors can drastically alter neuronal activity. To assess this matter, we used the chordotonal organ in a walking leg of a blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) and the muscle receptor organ of the crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). These organs serve as tractable models for the analysis of proprioception. The preparations can help serve as translational models for these effects, which may be observed in other invertebrate species as well as mammalian species (including humans). When extracellular potassium concentration ([K+]o) is increased to 20 mM in both preparations, mixed results are observed with activity increasing in some preparations and decreasing in others after mechanical displacement. However, when [K+]o is increased to 40 mM, activity drastically decreases in all preparations. Additionally, proprioceptor sensory activity declines upon exposure to a diluted muscle homogenate, which contains a host of intracellular constituents. The robust effects of altered [K+] on proprioception in these models illuminate the potential detriments on neuronal function in cases of severe tissue damage as well as altered [K+]o.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-379
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Contract grant sponsor: University of Kentucky; Neurophysiology Lab (Bio446, Bio650); Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) German Academic Exchange Service; Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE - Program).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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