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doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2006.05.036; PubMed Central: PMCID 1540994
The aim of this study was to establish the contribution of hip-mediated sensory feedback to spinal interneuronal circuits during dynamic conditions in people with incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Specifically, we investigated the effects of synergistic and antagonistic group I afferents on the soleus H-reflex during imposed sinusoidal hip movements. The soleus H-reflex was conditioned by stimulating the common peroneal nerve (CPN) at short (2, 3, and 4 ms) and long (80, 100, and 120 ms) conditioning test (C-T) intervals to assess the reciprocal and pre-synaptic inhibition of the soleus H-reflex, respectively. The soleus H-reflex was also conditioned by medial gastrocnemius (MG) nerve stimulation at C-T intervals ranging from 4 to 7 ms to assess changes in autogenic Ib inhibition during hip movement. Sinusoidal hip movements were imposed to the right hip joint at 0.2 Hz by the Biodex system while subjects were supine. The effects of sinusoidal hip movement on five leg muscles along with hip, knee, and ankle joint torques were also established during sensorimotor conditioning of the reflex. Phase-dependent modulation of antagonistic and synergistic muscle afferents was present during hip movement, with the reciprocal, pre-synaptic, and Ib inhibition to be significantly reduced during hip extension and reinforced during hip flexion. Reflexive muscle and joint torque responses – induced by the hip movement – were entrained to specific phases of hip movement. This study provides evidence that hip-mediated input acts as a controlling signal of pre- and post-alpha motoneuronal control of the soleus H-reflex. The expression of these spinal interneuronal circuits during imposed sinusoidal hip movements is discussed with respect to motor recovery in humans after SCI.