Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 293–307

Integration in descending motor pathways controlling the forelimb in the cat

11. Inhibitory pathways from higher motor centres and forelimb afferents to C3-C4 propriospinal neurones
  • B. Alstermark
  • A. Lundberg
  • S. Sasaki
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00236285

Cite this article as:
Alstermark, B., Lundberg, A. & Sasaki, S. Exp Brain Res (1984) 56: 293. doi:10.1007/BF00236285

Summary

Intracellular recording was made in the C3-C4 segments from cell bodies of a previously described system of propriospinal neurones (PNs), which receive convergent monosynaptic excitation from different higher motor centres and mediate disynaptic excitation and inhibition from them to forelimb motoneurones. Inhibitory effects in these PNs have now been investigated with electrical stimulation of higher motor centres and forelimb nerves. Short-latency IPSPs were evoked by volleys in the cortico-, rubro- and tectospinal tracts and from the reticular formation. Latency measurements showed that those IPSPs which required temporal summation were disynaptically mediated. After transection of the corticospinal tract in C2, only small and infrequent disynaptic IPSPs were evoked from the pyramid. It is postulated that disynaptic pyramidal IPSPs only to a small extent are evoked by monosynaptic excitation of reticulospinal inhibitory neurones known to project directly to the PNs, and that they are mainly mediated by inhibitory interneurones in the C3-C4 segments. Tests with spatial facilitation revealed monosynaptic excitatory convergence from tecto-, rubro- and probably also from reticulospinal fibres on inhibitory interneurones monosynaptically excited from corticospinal fibres (interneuronal system I). Disynaptic IPSPs were also evoked in the great majority of the PNs by volleys in forelimb muscle and skin nerves. A short train of volleys was usually required to evoke these IPSPs from group I muscle afferents. In the case of cutaneous nerves and mixed nerves single volleys were often effective, and the lack of temporal facilitation of IPSPs produced by a train of volleys showed strong linkage from these nerves. The results obtained after transection of the dorsal column at different levels show that the relay is almost entirely rostral to the forelimb segments. Test with spatial facilitation revealed that interneurones monosynaptically activated from forelimb afferents receive convergent excitation from corticospinal but not or only weakly so from tecto- or rubrospinal fibres. There was also convergence from group I muscle afferents and low threshold cutaneous afferents on common interneurones. It is postulated that the disynaptic IPSPs from forelimb afferents are mediated by inhibitory interneurones (interneuronal system II) other than those receiving convergent descending excitation. Volleys in corticospinal fibres, in addition to the disynaptic IPSPs, evoke late IPSPs in the PNs. Similar late IPSPs were evoked from the ipsilateral forelimb by stimulation of the FRA. Monosynaptic IPSPs were evoked in the majority of the PNs on weak stimulation of the lateral reticular nucleus (LRN) and from regions dorsal to it. Results from threshold mapping suggest that these IPSPs are due to antidromic stimulation of ascending inhibitory neurones which also project to the C3-C4 PNs, and that the ascending collaterals terminate in the LRN or/and the base of the cuneate nuclei. Activity in the ascending collaterals may give higher centres information regarding inhibitory control of the PNs. It is postulated that interneuronal system I subserves descending feed-forward inhibition and interneuronal system II feed-back inhibition from the forelimb of transmission through the C3-C4 PNs to motoneurones.

Key words

Descending pathwaysForelimb afferentsDisynaptic inhibitionC3-C4 propriospinal neurones

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Alstermark
    • 1
  • A. Lundberg
    • 1
  • S. Sasaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of GöteborgGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Institute of Brain Research, School of MedicineUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan