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Projections of pyramidal tract cells to alpha‐motoneurones innervating hind‐limb muscles in the monkey.

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Elzbieta Jankowska
Y. Padel
R. Tanaka
Publicerad i The Journal of Physiology
Volym 249
Sidor 637-667
ISSN 00223751
Publiceringsår 1975
Publicerad vid Fysiologiska institutionen
Sidor 637-667
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Medicinska grundvetenskaper

Sammanfattning

1. We have investigated the spatial organization of monosynaptic corticospinal projections to hind‐limb motoneurones, using near threshold stimulation of the surface of the precentral gyrus to activate pyramidal tract (PT) cells and intracellular recording from motoneurones to detect the resulting e.p.s.p.s. 2. Monosynaptic e.p.s.p.s. of cortical origin were seen in all motoneurone species investigated, those of distal as well as of proximal hind‐limb muscles. The proportion of motoneurones in which the e.s.p.s. were evoked and the amplitudes of the latter indicated a more extensive cortical projection to motor nuclei for distal than for proximal muscles, as previously found for forelimb motoneurones. 3. Cortical areas from which monosynaptic e.p.s.p.s. were evoked in individual motoneurones were remarkably large, most often between 3 and 7 mm2. Several motoneurones appeared to have two or three separate areas within the hind‐limb division of the motor cortex. 4. Areas of location of pyramidal tract cells projecting to various motoneurones innervating one muscle were usually not identical. They overlapped often only partially or did not overlap at all. 5. Areas of location of pyramidal tract cells projecting to motor nuclei for different muscles often showed an extensive overlap. When it occurred, various motoneurones of a given motor nucleus had common cortical projection areas with motoneurones of other motor nuclei, either to synergistic or to antagonistic muscles. Our results give further evidence for overlapping of areas of cortical projections to motoneurones and speak against a mosaic‐like organization of pyramidal tract cells projecting to different motor nuclei. 6. The rise times of cortically evoked e.p.s.p.s. indicate that the corticospinal tract fibres terminate on motoneurones at approximately similar distances from the soma as group Ia afferents. The small amplitudes of the majority of e.p.s.p.s. evoked by near threshold cortical stimulation therefore suggest that unitary e.p.s.p.s of cortical origin are small and that the density of pyramidal tract cells projecting to individual motoneurones is usually low, even in the centrum of projection areas. 7. Effects of intracortical stimulation depended on the stimulus strength. With currents of 2‐3 muA, e.p.s.p.s were usually evoked in one motoneurone species or in close synergists. With currents of 5‐10 muA, largest e.p.s.p.s a number of other motoneurones. Latencies of descending volleys in the lumbar corticospinal tract indicated that intracortical stimuli activated pyramidal tract cells indirectly; the effects of these stimuli could thus not be used to indicate the location of pyramidal tract cells responsible for them. © 1975 The Physiological Society

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