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Brain Res Bull. 2000 Nov 15;53(5):711-8.

Development of lumbar rhythmic networks: from embryonic to neonate locomotor-like patterns in the mouse.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie des Réseaux, Université de Bordeaux-C.N.R.S. U.M.R. 5816, Talence, France.


Different aspects of spinal locomotor organization have been studied in the mouse during embryonic and neonatal development using in vitro preparations of isolated lumbosacral cords. The first consideration was the embryonic development of an alternating bilateral pattern. From embryonic day (E) 12, perfusion of serotonin could induce relatively synchronous lumbar bursts across the cord. Bilateral activity became progressively alternate at E15 due to the appearance of glycinergic inhibitory interactions (revealed by strychnine application). Strictly alternating patterns were expressed at E18 and were maintained after birth. In a second step, we investigated cellular properties involved in lumbar rhythmogenesis in postnatal day 0-2 preparations which displayed spontaneous locomotor-like activity. Perfusion of receptor antagonists showed the co-operative involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)- and non-NMDA-receptors for excitatory amino acids-mediated operation of locomotor networks. In a final step we investigated the localization of locomotor networks within the lumbar cord. Data obtained from preparations exhibiting spontaneous or Mg2+-free induced bursts revealed that the networks are present throughout the lumbar cord and that rhythmogenesis is distributed throughout all segmental levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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