Impulse propagation over tactile and kinaesthetic sensory axons to central target neurones of the cuneate nucleus in cat.
ABSTRACT Paired, simultaneous recordings were made in anaesthetized cats from the peripheral and central axons of individual tactile and kinaesthetic sensory fibres. The aim was to determine whether failure of spike propagation occurred at any of the three major axonal branch points in the path to their cuneate target neurones, and whether propagation failure may contribute, along with synaptic transmission failures, to limitations in transmission security observed for the cuneate synaptic relay. No evidence for propagation failure was found at the two major axonal branch points prior to the cuneate nucleus, namely, the T-junction at the dorsal root ganglion, and the major branch point near the cord entry point, even for the highest impulse rates (approximately 400 impulses s(-1)) at which these fibres could be driven. However, at the highest impulse rates there was evidence at the central, intra-cuneate recording site of switching between two states in the terminal axonal spike configuration. This appears to reflect a sporadic propagation failure into one of the terminal branches of the sensory axon. In conclusion, it appears that central impulse propagation over group II sensory axons occurs with complete security through branch points within the dorsal root ganglion and at the spinal cord entry zone. However, at high rates of afferent drive, terminal axonal propagation failure may contribute to the observed decline in transmission security within the cuneate synaptic relay.
SourceAvailable from: David A Mahns[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The response characteristics and tactile coding capacities of individual dorsal horn neurons, in particular, those of the spinocervical tract (SCT), have been examined in the anesthetized cat. Twenty one of 38 neurons studied were confirmed SCT neurons based on antidromic activation procedures. All had tactile receptive fields on the hairy skin of the hindlimb. Most (29/38) could also be activated transynaptically by electrical stimulation of the cervical dorsal columns, suggesting that a common set of tactile primary afferent fibers may provide the input for both the dorsal column-lemniscal pathway and for parallel ascending pathways, such as the SCT. All but 3 of the 38 neurons studied displayed a pure dynamic sensitivity to controlled tactile stimuli but were unable to sustain their responsiveness throughout 1s trains of vibration at vibration frequencies exceeding 5-10 Hz. Stimulus-response relations revealed a very limited capacity of individual SCT neurons to signal, in a graded way, the intensity parameter of the vibrotactile stimulus. Furthermore, because of their inability to respond on a cycle-by-cycle pattern at vibration frequencies >5-10 Hz, these neurons were unable to provide any useful signal of vibration frequency beyond the very narrow bandwidth of approximately 5-10 Hz. Similar limitations were observed in the responsiveness of these neurons to repetitive forms of antidromic and transynaptic inputs generated by electrical stimulation of the spinal cord. In summary, the observed limitations on the vibrotactile bandwidth of SCT neurons and on the precision and fidelity of their temporal signaling, suggest that SCT neurons could serve as little more than coarse event detectors in tactile sensibility, in contrast to DCN neurons the bandwidth of vibrotactile responsiveness of which may extend beyond 400 Hz and is therefore broader by approximately 40-50 times than that of SCT neurons.Journal of Neurophysiology 03/2006; 95(3):1465-77. DOI:10.1152/jn.00484.2005 · 3.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The slow oscillation (SO) generated within the corticothalamic system is composed of active and silent states. The studies of response variability during active versus silent network states within thalamocortical system of human and animals provided inconsistent results. To investigate this inconsistency, we used electrophysiological recordings from the main structures of the somatosensory system in anaesthetized cats. Stimulation of the median nerve (MN) elicited cortical responses during all phases of SO. Cortical responses to stimulation of the medial lemniscus (ML) were virtually absent during silent periods. At the ventral-posterior lateral (VPL) level, ML stimuli elicited either EPSPs in isolation or EPSPs crowned by spikes, as a function of membrane potential. Response to MN stimuli elicited compound synaptic responses and spiked at any physiological level of membrane potential. The responses of dorsal column nuclei neurones to MN stimuli were of similar latency, but the latencies of antidromic responses to ML stimuli were variable. Thus, the variable conductance velocity of ascending prethalamic axons was the most likely cause of the barrages of synaptic events in VPL neurones mediating their firing at different level of the membrane potential. We conclude that the preserved ability of the somatosensory system to transmit the peripheral stimuli to the cerebral cortex during all the phases of sleep slow oscillation is based on the functional properties of the medial lemniscus and on the intrinsic properties of the thalamocortical cells. However the reduced firing ability of the cortical neurones during the silent state may contribute to impair sensory processing during sleep.The Journal of Physiology 02/2005; 562(Pt 2):569-82. DOI:10.1113/jphysiol.2004.071381 · 4.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A preparation is described in which it is possible to selectively activate and monitor the activity of the individual periosteal afferent nerve fibres arising from the humerus bone of the cat. The nerve is a fine branch of the median nerve that accompanies the small artery and vein that enter the nutrient foramen of the humerus. By freeing this fine nerve from nearby tissue over a length of approximately 1-2 cm and placing it over a silver hook recording electrode, it becomes possible to identify and monitor electrophysiologically, the impulse activity of individual periosteal afferent fibres activated by focal mechanical stimulation of the periosteum. With this preparation it will be possible to examine the central actions and security of transmission at central synaptic targets for single, small-diameter afferent fibres arising from bone.Journal of Neuroscience Methods 10/2006; 156(1-2):140-4. DOI:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2006.02.019 · 1.96 Impact Factor