The Motor Output of Hindlimb Innervating Segments of the Spinal Cord is Modulated by Cholinergic Activation of Rostrally Projecting Sacral Relay Neurons
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Cholinergic networks have been shown to be involved in generation and modulation of the locomotor rhythmic pattern produced by the mammalian central pattern generators. Here, we show that changes in the endogenous levels of acetylcholine in the sacral segments of the isolated spinal cord of the neonatal rat modulate the locomotor-related output produced by stimulation of sacrocaudal afferents in muscarinic receptor-dependent mechanisms. Cholinergic components we found on sacral relay neurons with lumbar projections through the ventral and lateral funiculi are suggested to mediate this ascending cholinergic modulation. Our findings, possible mechanisms accounting for them, and their potential implications are discussed.
KeywordsCholinesterase Locomotor rhythm Spinal interneurons Sensory pathways Ascending funiculi
The research was supported by grants from Israel Science Foundation (ISF) 1591/08, 1930/08, 491/12 to ALT, and ISF 685/01 and MDA to LA.
Conflict of interests
There are no known or potential conflicts of interest.
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