Convergence of forelimb afferent actions on C7-Th1 propriospinal neurones bilaterally projecting to sacral segments of the cat spinal cord.

P. Krutki, W. Mwrowczynski


Propriospinal neurones located in the cervical enlargement and projecting bilaterally to sacral segments of the spinal cord were investigated electrophysiologically in eleven deeply anaesthetized cats. Excitatory or inhibitory postsynaptic potentials from forelimb afferents were recorded following stimulation of deep radial (DR), superficial radial (SR), median (Med) and ulnar (Uln) nerves. 26 cells were recorded from C7, 22 from C8 and 3 from Th1 segments. The majority of the cells were located in the Rexed's laminae VIII and the medial part of the lamina VII. In 10 cases no afferent input from the forelimb afferents was found. In the remaining neurones effects were evoked mostly from DR (88%) and Med (63%), less often from SR (46%) and Uln (46%). Inhibitory actions were more frequent than excitatory. The highest number of IPSPs was evoked from high threshold flexor reflex afferents (FRA)--all connections were polysynaptic. However, inhibitory actions were often evoked from group I or II muscle afferents (polysynaptic or disynaptic) and, less frequently, from cutaneous afferents (mostly polysynaptic). Di- or polysynaptic IPSPs often accompanied monosynaptic EPSPs from group I or II muscle afferents. Disynaptic or polysynaptic EPSPs from muscle and cutaneous afferents were also recorded in many neurones, while polysynaptic EPSPs from FRA were observed only exceptionally. Various patterns of convergence in individual neuronal subpopulations indicate that they integrate different types of the afferent input from various muscle and cutaneous receptors of the distal forelimb. They transmit this information to motor centers controlling hind limb muscles, forming a part of the system contributing to the process of coordination of movements of fore--and hind--limbs.

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