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Brain Res Bull. 1990 Mar;24(3):509-16.

Medioventral medulla-induced locomotion.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


Previous anatomical studies demonstrated the presence of descending projections from the physiologically identified mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) to the medioventral medulla (MED) in the cat. The present experiments were designed to determine if a similar low threshold locomotion-inducing area is present in the rat medulla. In addition, the nature of the neurochemical control of this area of the brain was explored using localized injections of neurochemical agents in the decerebrate rat during locomotion on a treadmill. A region virtually identical to that reported in the cat was found to lead to controlled locomotion on a treadmill following stimulation at low amplitude currents (less than or equal to 60 microA). Injections of cholinergic agonists into the MED of the rat induced locomotion which could be blocked by injections of cholinergic antagonists. In addition, injections of GABA antagonists were found to induce stepping which could be blocked by injections of GABA or GABA agonists. Substance P (SP) also was found to induce walking following injection into the MED of the rat. Injections of an excitatory amino acid agonist (NMDA) also were found to induce locomotion in the rat. These effects were blocked by injections of an excitatory amino acid antagonist (APV). Since these results had not been reported for the cat MED, a short series of experiments revealed that the MED in the cat also responded to NMDA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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