Differential effects of hindlimb peripheral afferents on motoneurons innervating different parts of longissimus muscle in cats

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Previous studies (Wada and Kanda 2001, Exp Brain Res 136:263-263; Wada et al. 1999, Exp Brain Res 128:543-549) demonstrated that input patterns from hindlimb muscles and cutaneous afferents vary among individual trunk muscle motoneurons. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between the synaptic pattern from hindlimb afferents and the area innervated by motoneurons. Histologic study of m. longissimus lumborum (Long) indicated that the distribution of different fiber types (slow-twitch oxidative, SO; fast-twitch oxidative glycolytic, FOG; fast-twitch glycolytic, FG) depends on the area of the Long cross-section. The ventromedial area and dorsolateral area of the cross-section possess a high content of SO and FG, respectively. The motoneurons innervating the dorsolateral area receive muscle afferent inputs mainly from the ipsilateral side, while the motoneurons innervating the ventromedial area often receive bilateral afferent inputs. The motoneurons innervating the dorsolateral area receive excitatory post-synaptic potentials from cutaneous nerves on both sides. These findings indicate that the effects of afferent inputs from the hindlimbs are related to motoneuron type or the area innervated by the motoneurons.

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