The effects of postsynaptic inhibition on the monosynaptic reflex of the cat at different levels of motoneuron pool activity
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- Capaday, C. & Stein, R.B. Exp Brain Res (1989) 77: 577. doi:10.1007/BF00249610
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The motoneurons to the Soleus muscle in the decerebrate cat were activated by the crossed extensor reflex, elicited by stimulation of the contralateral common peroneal (CP) nerve. Monosynaptic reflexes were obtained from the Soleus motoneuron pool by stimulation of the cut L7-S1 dorsal roots. The amplitude of the reflex increased approximately linearly with the recruitment level of the motoneuron pool. Tonic postsynaptic inhibition was induced in the Soleus moto-neuron pool by repetitive antidromic stimulation of the Lateral Gastrocnemius (LG) and Medial Gastrocnemius (MG) nerves at a rate of 17–47 stimuli/s. This reduced the size of the monosynaptic reflex at rest by at least 40%. However, when the motoneurons were active, the amplitude of the monosynaptic reflex obtained during repetitive stimulation of the LG-MG nerve increased with the recruitment level along the same curve as the control reflexes. Thus, tonic postsynaptic inhibition of the motoneurons per se cannot control the amplitude of the monosynaptic reflex independently of the recruitment level of the motoneuron pool. These experimental results verify predictions from computer simulations and suggest by exclusion that presynaptic inhibition is needed to control the amplitude of the monosynaptic reflex independently of the recruitment level of the motor pool.