Intrinsic spinal networks generate a locomotor rhythm characterized by alternating electrical discharges from flexor and extensor motor pools. Because this process is preserved in the rat isolated spinal cord, this preparation in vitro may be a useful model to explore methods to reactivate locomotor networks damaged by spinal injury. The present electrophysiological investigation examined whether the broad spectrum potassium channel blocker tetraethylammonium could generate locomotor-like patterns. Low (50– 500 µM) concentrations of tetraethylammonium induced irregular, synchronous discharges incompatible with locomotion. Higher concentrations (1–10 mM) evoked alternating discharges between flexor and extensor motor pools, plus large depolarization of motoneurons with spike broadening. The alternating discharges were superimposed on slow, shallow waves of synchronous depolarization. Rhythmic alternating patterns were suppressed by blockers of glutamate, GABAA and glycine receptors, disclosing a background of depolarizing bursts inhibited by antagonism of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Furthermore, tetraethylammonium also evoked irregular discharges on dorsal roots. Rhythmic alternating patterns elicited by tetraethylammonium on ventral roots were relatively stereotypic, had limited synergy with fictive locomotion induced by dorsal root stimuli, and were not accelerated by 4-aminopyridine. Horizontal section of the spinal cord preserved irregular ventral root discharges and dorsal root discharges, demonstrating that the action of tetraethylammonium on spinal networks was fundamentally different from that of 4-aminopyridine. These results show that a potassium channel blocker such as tetraethylammonium could activate fictive locomotion in the rat isolated spinal cord, although the pattern quality lacked certain features like frequency modulation and strong synergy with other inputs to locomotor networks.
|Titolo:||Fictive locomotor patterns generated by tetraethylammonium application to the neonatal rat spinal cord in vitro|
|Autori:||TACCOLA G; NISTRI A|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.neuroscience.2005.09.025|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|