Distribution of rubrospinal synaptic input to cat triceps surae motoneurons.
ABSTRACT 1. We evoked steady-state synaptic potentials in triceps surae motoneurons of the cat by stimulating the hindlimb projection area of the contralateral magnocellular red nucleus at 200 Hz. We measured the effective synaptic currents (IN) underlying the synaptic potentials using a modified voltage-clamp technique. We also determined the effect of the rubrospinal input on the discharge rate of some of the motoneurons by inducing repetitive discharge with long injected current pulses during which the red nucleus stimulation was repeated. 2. At motoneuron resting potential, the distribution of IN from the red nucleus within the triceps surae pools was qualitatively similar to the distribution of synaptic potentials: 86% of the putative type F motoneurons received a net depolarizing IN from the red nucleus stimulation, whereas only 38% of the putative type S units did so. The mean values of IN were significantly different in the two groups [+4.1 +/- 5.0 nA (SD) for putative type F and -1.6 +/- 3.1 nA for putative type S]. 3. However, when the values of IN at threshold for repetitive firing were estimated, the distribution of IN from the red nucleus was quite different. At threshold, all of the putative type S units received hyperpolarizing IN but so did nearly half of the putative type F units. 4. As would be expected from the wide range of IN at threshold (-20 to +12 nA), the red nucleus input produced dramatically different effects on the discharge of different motoneurons.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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ABSTRACT: The influence of group III and IV muscle afferents on human motor pathways is poorly understood. We used experimental muscle pain to investigate their effects at cortical and spinal levels. In two studies, electromyographic (EMG) responses in elbow flexors and extensors to stimulation of the motor cortex (MEPs) and corticospinal tract (CMEPs) were evoked before, during, and after infusion of hypertonic saline into biceps brachii to evoke deep pain. In study 1, MEPs and CMEPs were evoked in relaxed muscles and during contractions to a constant elbow flexion force. In study 2, responses were evoked during elbow flexion and extension to a constant level of biceps or triceps brachii EMG, respectively. During pain, the size of CMEPs in relaxed biceps and triceps increased (by approximately 47% and approximately 56%, respectively; P < 0.05). MEPs did not change with pain, but relative to CMEPs, they decreased in biceps (by approximately 34%) and triceps (by approximately 43%; P < 0.05). During flexion with constant force, ongoing background EMG and MEPs decreased for biceps during pain (by approximately 14% and 15%; P < 0.05). During flexion with a constant EMG level, CMEPs in biceps and triceps increased during pain (by approximately 30% and approximately 26%, respectively; P < 0.05) and relative to CMEPs, MEPs decreased for both muscles (by approximately 20% and approximately 17%; P < 0.05). For extension, CMEPs in triceps increased during pain (by approximately 22%) whereas MEPs decreased (by approximately 15%; P < 0.05). Activity in group III and IV muscle afferents produced by hypertonic saline facilitates motoneurones innervating elbow flexor and extensor muscles but depresses motor cortical cells projecting to these muscles.The Journal of Physiology 04/2008; 586(5):1277-89. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The dendrites of spinal motoneurons amplify synaptic inputs to a marked degree through persistent inward currents (PICs). Dendritic amplification is subject to neuromodulatory control from the brainstem by axons releasing the monoamines serotonin and norepinephrine; however, the monoaminergic projection to the cord is diffusely organized and does not allow independent adjustment of amplification in different motor pools. Using in vivo voltage-clamp techniques, here we show that dendritic PICs in ankle extensor motoneurons in the cat are reduced about 50% by small rotations (+/-10 degrees ) of the ankle joint. This reduction is primarily due to reciprocal inhibition, a tightly focused input shared only among strict muscle antagonists. These results demonstrate how a specific change in limb position can regulate intrinsic cellular properties set by a background of diffuse descending neuromodulation.Nature Neuroscience 04/2007; 10(3):363-9. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The size principle dictates the orderly recruitment of motoneurons (Mns). This principle assumes that Mns of different sizes have a similar voltage threshold, cell size being the crucial property in determining neuronal recruitment. Thus, smaller neurons have higher membrane resistance and require a lower depolarizing current to reach spike threshold. However, the cell size contribution to recruitment in Mns during postnatal development remains unknown. To investigate this subject, rat oculomotor nucleus Mns were intracellularly labeled and their electrophysiological properties recorded in a brain slice preparation. Mns were divided into 2 age groups: neonatal (1-7 postnatal days, n = 14) and adult (20-30 postnatal days, n = 10). The increase in size of Mns led to a decrease in input resistance with a strong linear relationship in both age groups. A well-fitted inverse correlation was also found between input resistance and rheobase in both age groups. However, input resistance versus rheobase did not correlate when data from neonatal and adult Mns were combined in a single group. This lack of correlation is due to the fact that decrease in input resistance of developing Mns did not lead to an increase in rheobase. Indeed, a diminution in rheobase was found, and it was accompanied by an unexpected decrease in voltage threshold. Additionally, the decrease in rheobase co-varied with decrease in voltage threshold in developing Mns. These data support that the size principle governs the recruitment order in neonatal Mns and is maintained in adult Mns of the oculomotor nucleus; but during postnatal development the crucial property in determining recruitment order in these Mns was not the modifications of cell size-input resistance but of voltage threshold.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e28748. · 3.73 Impact Factor