Bilateral inputs and supraspinal control of viscerosomatic neurones in the lower thoracic spinal cord of the cat

F Cervero, BM Lumb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Single-unit activity has been recorded from eighty-three viscero-somatic neurones in the lower thoracic spinal cord (T9-T11) of chloralose-anaesthetized cats. These neurones were driven by natural and/or electrical stimulation in their somatic receptive fields and gave excitatory responses to electrical stimulation of the ipsilateral splanchnic nerve. Contralateral visceral inputs were tested by electrical stimulation of the contralateral splanchnic nerve. Tonic and phasic descending influences were tested by reversible spinalization with cold block at T7 and by electrical stimulation in nucleus raphe magnus and the immediately adjacent reticular formation. 2. Most viscero-somatic neurones (89%) gave an excitatory response to stimulation of the contralateral splanchnic nerve and were therefore considered to have bilateral visceral inputs. In this group of neurones three categories of cells were identified depending on whether their responses to ipsilateral splanchnic nerve stimulation were decreased (50%), increased (42%) or unchanged (8%) in the spinal state. Only one cell with an exclusively ipsilateral visceral input was tested for the effects of reversible spinalization. Stimulation of contralateral splanchnic nerve failed to evoke activity in this cell in the spinal state. 3. Sixty-four viscero-somatic neurones with bilateral visceral inputs and four neurones with exclusively ipsilateral visceral inputs were tested with electrical stimulation in nucleus raphe magnus and the adjacent reticular formation. Seventy-eight per cent gave an initial excitatory response which was followed by a period of reduced responsiveness to stimulation of visceral and somatic afferents. Three of the four neurones with an exclusively ipsilateral visceral input had no excitatory drive from the brain stem but their responses to stimulation of visceral and somatic afferents were depressed. 4. The majority (77%) of neurones with bilateral inputs were located in laminae VII and VIII with the remainder in the dorsal horn, predominantly laminae I and V, whereas all but one of the neurones with an exclusively ipsilateral visceral input were located in the superficial dorsal horn, predominantly lamina I, and none in laminae VII and VIII. 5. These results show that the majority of viscero-somatic neurones in the cat's lower thoracic spinal cord receive bilateral visceral inputs and that the transfer of this information is subjected to descending control which includes excitation as well as inhibition
Translated title of the contributionBilateral inputs and supraspinal control of viscerosomatic neurones in the lower thoracic spinal cord of the cat
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221 - 237
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume403
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1989

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