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Effects of stimulation of group I afferents from flexor muscles on heterosynaptic facilitation of monosynaptic reflexes produced by Ia and descending inputs: a test for presynaptic inhibition

Summary

1. In the chloralose anesthetized cat, conditioning stimulation of group I flexor afferents depresses the monosynaptic potentials generated by Ia afferents in single spinal motoneurons or in populations of motoneurons without affecting the monosynaptic potentials produced by stimulation of descending fibers in the ipsilateral ventromedial fasciculus (VMF). 2. Heterosynaptic facilitation of monosynaptic reflexes was used to test changes in the presynaptic effectiveness of excitatory inputs with direct connections with motoneurons. We found that the heterosynaptic facilitation of Ia origin was reduced by conditioning stimulation of group I afferents from flexors, without affecting the heterosynaptic facilitation produced by stimulation of the VMF. 3. These results confirm and expand previous observations showing that the synaptic effectiveness of descending fibers synapsing with motoneurons is not subjected to a presynaptic control mechanism of the type acting on Ia fiber terminals, and provide further basis for the use of changes in heterosynaptic facilitation of monosynaptic reflexes of Ia origin as an estimate of changes in presynaptic inhibition of Ia fibers (Hultborn et al. 1987a).

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Correspondence to P. Rudomin.

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Rudomin, P., Jiménez, I. & Enriquez, M. Effects of stimulation of group I afferents from flexor muscles on heterosynaptic facilitation of monosynaptic reflexes produced by Ia and descending inputs: a test for presynaptic inhibition. Exp Brain Res 85, 93–102 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00229990

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Key words

  • Presynaptic inhibition
  • Heterosynaptic facilitation
  • Monosynaptic EPSPs
  • Spinal cord
  • Cat