AVA interneuron

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AVAR and AVAL interneuron are interneurons within the motor circut of Caenorhabditis elegans that drives backward movement.

Basic Information

AVAR and AVAL are a pair of large axon interneurons that run down the ventral nerve cord to synapse with motor neurons to produce backward movement. http://www.wormatlas.org/neurons/Images/ava.jpg

AVAR and AVAL interneurons are two of four neurons that have large axons and run down the ventral nerve cord. AVAL and AVAR are connected to the motor pathways of C. elegans and synapse on an A-type (VA, DA) neuron.

Neuronal Type: Interneuron


The AVAR and AVAL neurons are located in the head of the worm along the lateral ganglia with its axon projecting along the ventral nerve cord contacting AS motor neurons and A-type neurons.

Molecular profile

  • Neurotransmitter: FMRFamide (FLP-1), FMRFamide like protiens and FMRFamide precursors.
  • expresses a variety of glutamate receptors including NMDA receptors

Synaptic Connections

Synaptic Inputs

AVA interneuron recieves input from glutamtergic neurons along the length of the neuron including the nerve ring (ASH, AUA, and FLP) the ventral cord (PVD and PLM) and in the post anal ganglion (LUA).

Synaptic Outputs

  • synapses against A-type neurons VA and DA, as well as motor neurons (AS) to produce a backward movement in response to stimuli


  1. Brockie P ,et. al.(2001) Differential Expression of Glutamate Receptor Subunits in the Nervous System of Caenorhabditis elegans and Their Regulation by the Homeodomain Protein UNC-42 , The Journal of Neuroscience, 21: 1510-1522
  2. Penelope J. Brockie, Jerry E. Mellem, Thomas Hills, David M. Madsen, Andres V. Maricq, The C. elegans Glutamate Receptor Subunit NMR-1 Is Required for Slow NMDA-Activated Currents that Regulate Reversal Frequency during Locomotion, Neuron, Volume 31, Issue 4, 30 August 2001, Pages 617-630

Additional information

Worm atlas