Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 377, Issue 3, pp 255–261 | Cite as

The relative dependence of the activity of renshaw cells on recurrent pathways during contraction of the triceps muscle

  • Radmila Anastasijević
  • J. Vučo
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


Renshaw cell activity was recorded simultaneously with motoneuronal unit discharge during vibration and tetanic stimulation of triceps muscles in decerebrated cats. The experiments confirm that, in this preparation, the motoneurones are the main source of Renshaw cell firing during muscle stretch and vibration and when motoneuronal discharge was induced through the gamma loop. However they also show that a discharge of Renshaw cells, monosynaptically coupled with triceps motoneurones through their recurrent collaterals, could be elicited during contraction of the muscle at the time when the discharge of these motoneurones had been silenced.

The recording of the stretch receptors and motoneuronal unit discharge during stretch, vibration, and ventral root stimulation gave evidence of the contribution of the withdrawal of excitation by primary endings to the occurrence of the silent period during tetanic contraction of the muscle. The measurements of the critical firing level in motoneuronal units responding reflexly to held stretch and vibration of the muscles, and silencing their discharge during muscle shortening, showed that these cells are amongst the lowest ranking in the pool. For these reasons, these data suggest that Renshaw cell firing during vibration and tetanic contraction of the muscle cannot be attributed only to the alpha motoneurone excitation by the Ia fibres.

Key words

Renshaw cells Muscle vibration Spinal motoneurones Silent period 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radmila Anastasijević
    • 1
  • J. Vučo
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Medical ResearchBeogradYugoslavia

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