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J Neurobiol. 1991 Apr;22(3):224-37.

Nonspiking pathways antagonize the resistance reflex in the thoraco-coxal joint of stick insects.

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Universität Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany.


In the stick insect (Carausius morosus) imposed forward and backward movements of the coxa of the middle leg induce resistance reflexes in the retractor or protractor coxae muscles, depending on the direction of movement. The hairs of the ventral coxal hairplate (cxHPv) function as the primary transducer of the retractor part of the underlying feedback loop: bending of the hairs of the cxHPv during an imposed forward movement of the coxa leads to a reflex activation of the retractor motoneurones, whereas releasing of the hairs causes an inhibition of these motoneurones. Local nonspiking interneurones were investigated, which transmit information from the cxHPv onto the retractor motoneurones: 1) they are depolarized during bending of the hair sensilla of the cxHPv and 2) they decrease the activities of retractor motoneurones. In addition, four of the interneurones drive a protractor motoneurone, when they are depolarized. As bending stimuli at the cxHPv (mimicking an imposed forward movement of the leg) induce reflex activation of the retractor motoneurones and reflex inhibition of the protractor motoneurones, the physiology of the recorded interneurones appears to antagonize the resistance reflex in the thoraco-coxal joint. The results indicate that these nonspiking interneurones take part in the shaping of the reflex response and that furthermore these interneurones are involved in the organization of the motor output to the two antagonistic sets of motoneurones. The possible role of these interneurones might be the adjustment of the gain and of the time constant in the thoraco-coxal feedback loop.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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