Extracellular recording was made from 77 primary afferent fibres, 106 cells in the external cuneate nucleus, and 60 cells in the main cuneate nucleus, all activated by slowly adapting muscle stretch receptors. The nature of the muscle receptors responsible for the activation was determined by various types of receptor stimulation.
Primary group I afferents from muscle spindles and tendon organs in distal forelimb muscles showed complete overlap of conduction velocities and thresholds to electrical stimulation. Both types of group I afferents as well as group II muscle spindle afferents were shown to ascend through the dorsal funiculus to the level of the cuneate nuclei.
Three groups of cells were identified in the external cuneate nucleus, activated by group I muscle spindle afferents, tendon organ afferents and group II muscle spindle afferents, respectively.
Almost all group I activated cells in the main cuneate nucleus, including all 34 cells identified as cuneo-thalamic relay cells, received their afferent input from muscle spindle afferents. Three cells were activated by tendon organ afferents.
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Rosén, I., Sjölund, B. Organization of group I activated cells in the main and external cuneate nuclei of the cat: Identification of muscle receptors. Exp Brain Res 16, 221–237 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00233327
- Main cuneate nucleus
- External cuneate nucleus
- Muscle stretch receptors
- Natural stimulation