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Brain Res. 1996 May 20;721(1-2):91-100.

Mechanoreceptive afferents exhibit functionally-specific activity dependent changes in conduction velocity.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia Research Laboratories, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Impulse activity in axons generates aftereffects on membrane excitability that can alter the conduction velocity of subsequently conducted impulses. We used a computerized stimulus pattern (a 1 Hz stimulus period followed by a period of repeated short bursts at 200 Hz) to assess in vivo activity-dependent changes in conduction latency of functionally identified rat cutaneous afferents conducting in the A beta range. Several different parameters of activity dependence were measured: burst supernormality, the average increase in conduction latency following conditioning with a single preceding impulse during high frequency burst stimulation; burst subnormality, the average latency increase during each burst; depression, a long-term increase in latency caused by the high frequency stimulation. The data show that different mechanosensitive A beta afferents with overlapping resting conduction velocities exhibit activity-dependent changes in conduction latency that are characteristic of their particular functions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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