1. We describe three interneurones and their follower cells in the central ganglionic ring of Helisoma trivolvis. 2. The largest neurone on the dorsal surface of the left pedal ganglion is shown to be an interneurone that contains dopamine and makes monosynaptic connections with a large number of follower cells in the visceral and left parietal ganglia. This neurone is designated as left pedal dorsal 1 (LPeD1). 3. Another giant neurone is located on the dorsal surface of the right pedal ganglion. Although the position and morphology of this cell, designated right pedal dorsal 1 (RPeD1), are similar to those of LPeD1, it contains serotonin rather than dopamine. This neurone was found to synapse only on LPeD1, no other follower cells have so far been discovered. The connections between LPeD1 and RPeD1 are mutually inhibitory. 4. A small FMRFamide-immunoreactive neurone, identified here as visceral dorsal 4 (VD4), is located on the dorsal surface of the visceral ganglion. This neurone has a large number of follower cells throughout the central ganglionic ring. Among these follower cells are LPeD1 and RPeD1. The transmitter utilized by VD4 at these synapses is probably FMRFamide. In addition, VD4 receives excitatory inputs from LPeD1 that appear to be chemical and monosynaptic. 5. To test further the monosynaptic and specific nature of the connections within the network, the three interneurones were isolated and cultured in vitro. In these circumstances, the three neurones extended neurites and formed synapses which, with one exception (occasional electrical coupling between LPeD1 and RPeD1), were of similar type to those observed in vivo. 6. The identification and characterization of these three interneurones and their follower cells should greatly facilitate future studies of the Helisoma trivolvis nervous system. Furthermore, the possibility that this three-cell network can be reconstructed in vitro should aid our understanding of the mechanisms underlying synapse formation and neuronal plasticity.

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