A fundamental question in vertebrate loco- motion is whether distinct spinal networks exist that are capable of generating rhythmic output for each group of muscle synergists. In many vertebrates including the lamprey, it has been claimed that burst activity depends on reciprocal inhibition between antagonists. This question was addressed in the isolated lamprey spinal cord in which the left and right sides of each myotome display rhythmic alternating activity. We sectioned the spinal cord along the midline and tested whether rhythmic motor activity could be induced in the hemicord with bath-applied D-glutamate or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) as in the intact spinal cord or by brief trains of electrical stimuli. Fast rhythmic bursting (2–12 Hz), coordinated across ventral roots, was observed with all three methods. Furthermore, to diminish gradually the crossed glycinergic inhibition, a progressive surgical lesioning of axons crossing the midline was implemented. This resulted in a gradual increase in burst frequency, linking firmly the fast hemicord rhythm [6.6 1.7 (SD) Hz] to fictive swimming in the intact cord (2.4 0.7 Hz). Ipsilateral glycinergic inhibition was not required for the hemicord burst pattern generation, suggesting that an interaction between excitatory glutamatergic neurons suffices to produce the unilateral burst pattern. In NMDA, burst activity at a much lower rate (0.1–0.4 Hz) was also encountered, which required the voltage- dependent properties of NMDA receptors in contrast to the fast rhythm. Swimming is thus produced by pairs of unilateral burst generating networks with reciprocal inhibitory connections that not only ensure left/right alternation but also downregulate frequency.

Fast and slow locomotor burst generation in the hemispinal cord of the lamprey

CANGIANO, LORENZO;
2003-01-01

Abstract

A fundamental question in vertebrate loco- motion is whether distinct spinal networks exist that are capable of generating rhythmic output for each group of muscle synergists. In many vertebrates including the lamprey, it has been claimed that burst activity depends on reciprocal inhibition between antagonists. This question was addressed in the isolated lamprey spinal cord in which the left and right sides of each myotome display rhythmic alternating activity. We sectioned the spinal cord along the midline and tested whether rhythmic motor activity could be induced in the hemicord with bath-applied D-glutamate or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) as in the intact spinal cord or by brief trains of electrical stimuli. Fast rhythmic bursting (2–12 Hz), coordinated across ventral roots, was observed with all three methods. Furthermore, to diminish gradually the crossed glycinergic inhibition, a progressive surgical lesioning of axons crossing the midline was implemented. This resulted in a gradual increase in burst frequency, linking firmly the fast hemicord rhythm [6.6 1.7 (SD) Hz] to fictive swimming in the intact cord (2.4 0.7 Hz). Ipsilateral glycinergic inhibition was not required for the hemicord burst pattern generation, suggesting that an interaction between excitatory glutamatergic neurons suffices to produce the unilateral burst pattern. In NMDA, burst activity at a much lower rate (0.1–0.4 Hz) was also encountered, which required the voltage- dependent properties of NMDA receptors in contrast to the fast rhythm. Swimming is thus produced by pairs of unilateral burst generating networks with reciprocal inhibitory connections that not only ensure left/right alternation but also downregulate frequency.
Cangiano, Lorenzo; Grillner, S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/76145
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