Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 517–524 | Cite as

The Motor Output of Hindlimb Innervating Segments of the Spinal Cord is Modulated by Cholinergic Activation of Rostrally Projecting Sacral Relay Neurons

  • Alex Etlin
  • Eran Finkel
  • Meir Cherniak
  • Aharon Lev-Tov
  • Lili AnglisterEmail author


Cholinergic networks have been shown to be involved in generation and modulation of the locomotor rhythmic pattern produced by the mammalian central pattern generators. Here, we show that changes in the endogenous levels of acetylcholine in the sacral segments of the isolated spinal cord of the neonatal rat modulate the locomotor-related output produced by stimulation of sacrocaudal afferents in muscarinic receptor-dependent mechanisms. Cholinergic components we found on sacral relay neurons with lumbar projections through the ventral and lateral funiculi are suggested to mediate this ascending cholinergic modulation. Our findings, possible mechanisms accounting for them, and their potential implications are discussed.


Cholinesterase Locomotor rhythm Spinal interneurons Sensory pathways Ascending funiculi 



The research was supported by grants from Israel Science Foundation (ISF) 1591/08, 1930/08, 491/12 to ALT, and ISF 685/01 and MDA to LA.

Conflict of interests

There are no known or potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Etlin
    • 1
  • Eran Finkel
    • 1
  • Meir Cherniak
    • 1
  • Aharon Lev-Tov
    • 1
  • Lili Anglister
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical Neurobiology, IMRICThe Hebrew University Medical SchoolJerusalemIsrael

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