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J Neurosci. 2008 Apr 2;28(14):3615-22. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0466-08.2008.

Interneuronal activity in reflex pathways from group II muscle afferents is monitored by dorsal spinocerebellar tract neurons in the cat.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.


The main aim of the study was to investigate whether group II muscle afferents contribute to the inhibition of dorsal spinocerebellar tract (DSCT) neurons and thereby modulate information provided by these neurons in the cat. In intracellular recordings, we found disynaptic IPSPs from group II afferents in the majority of DSCT neurons, most often in parallel with IPSPs evoked from group I afferents. In an attempt to identify interneurons that mediate these IPSPs, the second aim of the study, laminas IV-VII in midlumbar segments were searched for interneurons antidromically activated by stimuli applied within Clarke's column. Such interneurons were found in regions in which focal field potentials were evoked by group I and II afferents, or ventral to them, and most were coexcited by these afferents. The input to these interneurons and their location indicate that they belonged to the previously identified population of premotor interneurons in disynaptic pathways between group I and II afferents and hindlimb motoneurons. The study leads thus to the conclusion that inhibitory actions of group II afferents on DSCT neurons are collateral to actions on motoneurons and that DSCT neurons monitor inhibitory actions of group II afferents on motoneurons as closely as they monitor actions of group I afferents. The results also indicate that interneurons mediating disynaptic reflex actions from tendon organ (group Ib) afferents and those mediating disynaptic actions from secondary muscle spindle (group II) afferents to motoneurons may be parts and parcel of the same interneuronal population rather than constitute distinct interneuronal populations.

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