Isolated mammalian spinal cord has been shown capable of generating locomotor activity. Propriospinal systems assumed to coordinate fore- and hindlimb activity are poorly understood. This study characterizes the long descending propriospinal (LDP) neurons in terms of the location of the somas and their peripheral inputs by direct neuronal recording. Anatomical studies using axonal retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase from the lumbar to the cervical spinal cord as a tracer first described these neurons. Two hundred and thirty-one LDP neurons were identified in electrophysiological experiments. Of these, 123 responded to natural stimulation, and about 50% of the others were activated only by electrical stimulation. The majority of cells were located in laminae VII and VIII in agreement with anatomical data. The most effective stimuli were mechanical stimulation of skin, deep pressure to subcutaneous tissues, and paw joint movement. Bot excitatory and inhibitory responses were observed.
Adams, Robert J.; Skinner, Robert D.; and Remmel, Ronald S.
"Activation of Long Descending Propriospinal Neurons in Cat Spinal Cord,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 34
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol34/iss1/6