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Physiol Behav. 2002 Dec;77(4-5):689-92.

Plasticity of bladder reflex pathways during postnatal development.

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Department of Pharmacology, W1352 Biomedical Science Tower, 200 Lothrop Street, 15261, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Neuroanatomical and electrophysiological techniques have provided insights into the organization of the spinal cord circuitry and the neurotransmitter mechanisms involved in primitive voiding reflexes in neonatal animals. Patch clamp studies of unitary synaptic transmission in spinal cord slice preparations indicate that developmental plasticity in sacral parasympathetic reflex pathways is due in part to alterations in the glutamatergic excitatory transmission between interneurons and parasympathetic preganglionic neurons. It is proposed that these synaptic changes are due to competition between segmental and supraspinal inputs. Thus, synaptic remodeling in the sacral parasympathetic nucleus is likely to be an important factor in the postnatal maturation of voiding reflexes.

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