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Appl Neurophysiol. 1986;49(3):121-38.

Response of single alpha motoneurons to high-frequency pulse trains. Firing behavior and conduction block phenomenon.


Studies were conducted on 25 cats to document the discharge rates of alpha motoneurons during stimulation of the sciatic nerve at frequencies from 100 to 10,000 pulses per second (pps). In addition, the feasibility of using high-frequency pulse trains to block the conduction of action potentials was investigated. Two cuff electrodes were placed around the proximal portion of the left sciatic nerve, and recordings of antidromic potentials were taken from single fibers of the L7 ventral root. When stimulating through the more proximal electrode, discharge rates were generally equal to or were subharmonics of the stimulation rate up to 1,000 pps. Firing often decreased in rate during 3-min runs. At 2,000-10,000 pps, fibers responded briefly at rates of several hundred per second but stopped firing within seconds after stimulus initiation. After cessation of response to the high-frequency pulse train, action potentials generated at 50 pps at the more distal electrode did not propagate to the recording electrodes. The 'electrical block' so induced was maintained for up to 20 min, and recovery following termination of the pulse train was complete within 1 s.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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