Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2003 Mar 1;23(5):1886-93.

Task-dependent presynaptic inhibition.

Author information

Centre de recherche en sciences neurologiques, Département de physiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3C 3J7.


This study compares the level of presynaptic inhibition during two rhythmic movements in the cat: locomotion and scratch. Dorsal rootlets from L6, L7, or S1 segments were cut, and their proximal stumps were recorded during fictive locomotion occurring spontaneously in decerebrate cats and during fictive scratch induced by d-tubocurarine applied on the C1 and C2 segments. Compared with rest, the number of antidromic spikes was increased (by 12%) during locomotion, whereas it was greatly decreased (31%) during scratch, and the amplitude of dorsal root potentials (DRPs), evoked by stimulating a muscle nerve, was slightly decreased (7%) during locomotion but much more so during scratch (53%). When compared with locomotion, the decrease in the number of antidromic spikes (45%) and the decrease in DRP amplitude (43%) during scratch were of similar magnitude. Also, the amplitude of primary afferent depolarization (PAD), recorded with micropipettes in axons (n = 13) of two cats, was found to be significantly reduced (60%) during scratch compared with rest. During both rhythms, there were cyclic oscillations in dorsal root potential the timing of which was linearly related to the timing of rhythmic activity in tibialis anterior. The amplitude of these oscillations was significantly smaller (34%) during locomotion compared with scratch. These results suggest that the reduction in antidromic activity during scratch was attributable to a task-dependent decrease in transmission in PAD pathways and not to underlying potential oscillations related to the central pattern generator. It is concluded that presynaptic inhibition and antidromic discharge may have a more important role in the control of locomotion than scratch.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center