In decerebrate paralyzed cats, we examined the responses of 18 spinoreticular neurons to electrical stimulation of the mesencephalic locomotor region. The activity of each of the spinoreticular neurons was recorded extracellularly from laminae IV through VI of the L7 and S1 spinal cord. In addition, each of the 18 spinoreticular neurons received group III afferent input from the tibial nerve. Spinoreticular projections were established for each of 18 neurons by anti-dromic invasion of the ventro lateral medulla at the P11 though P14 levels. The onset latencies and current thresholds for antidromic invasion from the ventro lateral medulla averaged 15.0 ± 3.8 ms and 117 ± 11 μA, respectively. Electrical stimulation of the mesencephalic locomotor region attenuated the spontaneous activity or the responses of each of the spinoreticular neurons to tibial nerve stimulation at currents that recruited group III afferents. Our data support the notion that thin-fiber muscle afferent input to the ventrolateral medulla is gated by a central command to exercise.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)