Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 389, Issue 2, pp 143–148 | Cite as

Reflex control of the retractor bulbi muscle in the cat

  • Maryvonne Guégan
  • Ginette Horcholle-Bossavit
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


The effects of vestibular and trigeminal stimulation on reflex responses of each slip of the retractor bulbi muscle were tested by recording the electromyogram.
  1. 1.

    In “encéphale isolé” cat, phasic electrical stimulation of the horizontal canal induced no response in the RB slips. Repetitive vestibular stimulation did not produce nystagmus in the RB muscle while strong muscular discharges were observed in the nystagmus lateral rectus muscle.

  2. 2.

    In anaesthetized cats, three trigeminal inputs elicited strong reflex responses in each slip of the RB muscle. Electrical stimulation of the vibrissae or the infra-orbital nerve evoked a two component reflex response (latencies: 5ms±0.5 and 14ms±2). Electrical stimulation of the supraorbital nerve elicited a single component reflex response (latency: 6ms±0.5). Electrical stimulation of the long ciliary nerves evoked a complex response with four components (latencies: 7.5ms±0.5, 10ms±2,15ms±2,20ms±2)

  3. 3.

    Pentobarbital and morphine produced lasting depression of the reflex responses of the RB muscle. The depressive effect of morphine was reversed by naloxone.


Key words

Retractor bulbi muscle Trigeminal afferents Oculomotricity Cat 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baker R, McCrea RA, Spencer RF (1980) Synaptic organization of the cat accessory abducens nucleus. J Neurophysiol 43:771–790Google Scholar
  2. Baldissera F, Broggi G (1968) Analysis of a trigemino-abducens reflex in the cat. Brain Res 7:313–316Google Scholar
  3. Batini C, Buisseret-Delmas C, Kado RT (1979) On the fibers of the III, IV and VI cranial nerves of the cat. Arch Ital Biol 117:111–122Google Scholar
  4. Cegavske CF, Thompson RF, Patterson MM, Gormezano I (1976) Mechanisms of efferent neuronal control of the reflex nictitating membrane response in rabbit. J Comp Physiol Psychol 90:411–423Google Scholar
  5. Chan SHH (1979) Participation of the nucleus gigantocellularis in the morphine suppression of jaw-opening reflex in cats. Brain Res 160:377–380Google Scholar
  6. Crandall WF, Wilson JS, Goldberg SJ (1977) Branching axons to “functionally independent” muscle in the cat oculomotor system. Soc Neurosci 3:153Google Scholar
  7. Grant K, Guéritaud JP, Horcholle-Bossavit G, Tyc-Dumoht S (1979) Anatomical and electrophysiological identification of motoneurones supplying the cat retractor bulbi muscle. Exp Brain Res 34:541–550Google Scholar
  8. Guégan M, Guéritaud JP, Horcholle-Bossavit G (1978) Localisation des motoneurones du muscle retractor bulbi par transport retrograde de peroxydase exogène chez le chat. CR Acad Sci (Paris) 286:1355–1357Google Scholar
  9. Hiraoka M, Shimamura M (1977) Neural mechanisms of the corneal blinking reflex in cats. Brain Res 125:265–275Google Scholar
  10. Ito M, Nisimaru N, Yamamoto M (1976) Postsynaptic inhibition of oculomotor neurons involved in vestibulo-ocular reflexes arising from semicircular canals of rabbits. Exp Brain Res 24:273–283Google Scholar
  11. Keller O, Vyklicky L, Sykova E (1972) Reflexes from Aδ and Aα trigeminal afferents. Brain Res 37:330–332Google Scholar
  12. Lele PP, Weddell G (1959) Sensory nerves of the cornea and cutaneous sensibility. Exp Neurol 1:334–359Google Scholar
  13. Lennerstrand G (1974) Mechanical studies on the retractor bulbi muscle and its motor units in the cat. J Physiol (Lond) 236:43–55Google Scholar
  14. McCouch GP, Adler FH (1932) Extraocular reflexes. Am J Physiol 100:78–88Google Scholar
  15. Motais E (1885) Recherches sur l'anatomie humaine et l'anatomie comparée de l'appareil moteur de l'oeil. Mammifères Arch Ophthalmol (Paris) 5:143–158Google Scholar
  16. Nagano S, Myers JA, Hall RD (1975) Representation of the cornea in the brain stem of the rat. Exp Neurol 49:653–670Google Scholar
  17. Sasa M (1969) Effects of morphine on unit discharges recorded from the trigeminal nuclei in cats. Jpn J Pharmacol 19:373–385Google Scholar
  18. Shahani B (1970) The human blink reflex. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 33:792–800Google Scholar
  19. Spencer RF, Baker R, McCrea RA (1980) Localization and morphology of cat retractor bulbi motoneurones. J Neurophysiol 43:754–770Google Scholar
  20. Steinacker A, Bach-y-Rita P (1968) The fiber spectrum of the cat VI nerve to the lateral rectus and retractor bulbi muscles. Experientia 24:1254–1255Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryvonne Guégan
    • 1
  • Ginette Horcholle-Bossavit
    • 1
  1. 1.C.E.S.N.-La 204-CNRSGif-sur-YvetteFrance

Personalised recommendations