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Activity of Renshaw cells during locomotor-like rhythmic activity in the isolated spinal cord of neonatal mice

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In the present study, we examine the activity patterns of and synaptic inputs to Renshaw cells (RCs) during fictive locomotion in the newborn mouse using visually guided recordings from GABAergic cells expressing glutamic acid decarboxylase 67-green fluorescent protein (GFP). Among the GFP-positive neurons in the lumbar ventral horn, RCs were uniquely identified as receiving ventral root-evoked short-latency EPSPs that were markedly reduced in amplitude by nicotinic receptor blockers mecamylamine or tubocurarine. During locomotor-like rhythmic activity evoked by bath application of 5-HT and NMDA, 50% of the recorded RCs fired in-phase with the ipsilateral L2 flexor-related rhythm, whereas the rest fired in the extensor phase. Each population of RCs fired throughout the corresponding locomotor phase. All RCs received both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs during the locomotor-like rhythmic activity. Blocking nicotinic receptors with mecamylamine markedly reduced the rhythmic excitatory drive, indicating that these rhythmic inputs originate mainly from motor neurons (MNs). Inhibitory synaptic inputs persisted in the presence of the nicotinic blocker. Part of this inhibitory drive and remaining excitatory drive could be from commissural interneurons because the present study also shows that RCs receive direct crossed inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs. However, rhythmic synaptic inputs in RCs were also observed in hemicord preparations in the presence of mecamylamine. These results show that, during locomotor activity, RC firing properties are modulated not only by MNs but also by the ipsilateral and contralateral locomotor networks.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Neuroscience
Vol/bind26
Udgave nummer20
Sider (fra-til)5320-5328
Antal sider9
ISSN0270-6474
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 8 sep. 2006

ID: 194978386