Activities of Spinal Neurons during Brain Stem-dependent Fictive Swimming in Lamprey

Document Type




Format of Original

8 p.

Publication Date



American Physiological Society

Source Publication

Journal of Neurophysiology

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1. We made intracellular microelectrode recordings of membrane potential from spinal neurons during fictive swimming elicited by brief electrical shocks to the spinal cord in a brain stem-spinal cord preparation of the adult silver lamprey (Ichthyomyzon unicuspis). 2. We characterized membrane potential activities recorded during brain stem-dependent fictive swimming in five spinal cell types: myotomal motoneurons, lateral interneurons (inhibitory neurons with ipsilateral descending axons), CC interneurons (neurons with contralateral and caudal projecting axons), edge cells (intraspinal stretch receptors), and dorsal cells (primary mechanosensory neurons with cell bodies in the spinal cord). The membrane potential activities were compared with data from previous reports recorded during fictive swimming in the isolated spinal cord with fictive swimming induced by superfusion with D-glutamate. 3. Compared with the same cell types recorded during D-glutamate-induced fictive swimming in brain stem-dependent fictive swimming, the motoneurons and CC interneurons had significantly larger trough-to-peak amplitudes of membrane potential oscillations, whereas lateral interneurons were not significantly different in amplitude. The timings of the membrane potential oscillations and of cell spiking were not significantly different in the two preparations, with the exception that motoneurons in brain stem-dependent fictive swimming were significantly earlier by approximately 10% of a cycle. Edge cells had only weak or no oscillatory activities, and dorsal cells had no detectable input during brain stem-dependent fictive swimming. These findings are similar to those in D-glutamate-induced fictive swimming.


Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 73 (January 1995): 80-87. Permalink.