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Viscerosomatic somatic convergence at lumbar interneurons in the dorsal horn of the cat and rat spinal cord

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In experiments on spinal cats, when branches of the pelvic nerve innervating the rectum were electrically stimulated at the same time as the peroneal nerve it was found that 12 out of 20 neurons, to which the effects of both these supplies converged, were activated by both A- and C-fibers. Responses to stimulation of the pelvic nerve were apparently mediated via fibers with a conduction velocity not less than 2.2 m·s−1. In studies in spinal rats it was shown that distension of the more distal regions of the large intestine could excite neurons in laminae IV–V, and inhibit neurons in deeper laminae. In seven out of 18 cases the inhibition evoked by visceral stimulation was due to a direct effect on the postsynaptic membrane of these cells, and in 11 cases it was localized to presynaptic structures. Naloxone, strychnine, and atropine did not block this inhibition, thus providing evidence against the possible participation of opioids, glycine, and acetylcholine in its generation. Phaclofen, a GABAB-receptor antagonist, was also without effect, but bicuculline suppressed this inhibition in three out of 12 cases, indicating that GABAA-receptors are involved.

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Additional information

I. M. Sechenov Medical Academy, Russian Ministry of Public Health, Moscow. Translated from Neirofiziologiya, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 3–11, January–February, 1992.

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Kasparov, S.A. Viscerosomatic somatic convergence at lumbar interneurons in the dorsal horn of the cat and rat spinal cord. Neurophysiology 24, 1–6 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01053475

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  • Spinal Cord
  • Glycine
  • Direct Effect
  • Acetylcholine
  • Atropine