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Optogenetic dissection reveals multiple rhythmogenic modules underlying locomotion

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  • Martin Hägglund
  • Kimberly J. Dougherty
  • Lotta Borgius
  • Shigeyoshi Itohara
  • Takuji Iwasato
  • Kiehn, Ole

Neural networks in the spinal cord known as central pattern generators produce the sequential activation of muscles needed for locomotion. The overall locomotor network architectures in limbed vertebrates have been much debated, and no consensus exists as to how they are structured. Here, we use optogenetics to dissect the excitatory and inhibitory neuronal populations and probe the organization of the mammalian central pattern generator. We find that locomotor-like rhythmic bursting can be induced unilaterally or independently in flexor or extensor networks. Furthermore, we show that individual flexor motor neuron pools can be recruited into bursting without any activity in other nearby flexor motor neuron pools. Our experiments differentiate among several proposed models for rhythm generation in the vertebrates and show that the basic structure underlying the locomotor network has a distributed organization with many intrinsically rhythmogenic modules.

TidsskriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Udgave nummer28
Sider (fra-til)11589-11594
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 9 jul. 2013
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 194977092