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Neurosci Res. 2002 Oct;44(2):213-223.

Only minor spinal motor reflex effects from feline group IV muscle nociceptors.

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Institute of Physiology, University of Göttingen, Humboldtallee 23, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.


The contribution of group III and IV muscle nociceptors activated by injection of KCl or bradykinin into the muscle artery (i.a.) of the gastrocnemius-soleus muscle to spinal motor reflex pathways was investigated in high spinal cats. Group I-III fibres were completely blocked by TTX, leaving group IV-fibre conduction intact. Thus, effects from i.a. KCl or bradykinin injection persisting after TTX were attributed to TTX resistant group IV fibres while the contribution of group III fibres was approximately defined by the difference between those effects and the control effects before TTX. Confirming former findings the chemical activation of group III and IV muscle afferents induced distinct reflex facilitation of the flexor posterior biceps semitendinosus and inhibition of the extensor quadriceps. After the block of all myelinated fibres by TTX the same stimuli induced only minor reflex effects mediated by the persistently conducting TTX resistant group IV afferents. It is concluded that the main functional meaning of group IV muscle afferents, which respond preferentially with a higher threshold to mechanical stimuli, is probably less related to reflex motor control than that of group III afferents.

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