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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Projection of cat jaw muscle spindle afferents related to intrafusal fibre influence.

1. A method of classification of muscle spindle afferents using succinylcholine (SCh) and ramp stretches has recently been described, which appears to estimate separately the strength of influence of bag1 (b1) and of bag2 (b2) intrafusal fibres. Increase in dynamic difference (delta DD) indicates b1 influence whilst increase in initial frequency (delta IF) indicates b2 influence. The significance of this classification has now been examined by correlation with the strength of synaptic projection of jaw muscle spindle afferents to the fifth motor nucleus (MotV) and the supratrigeminal region (STR) in anaesthetized cats. 2. Projection strength was estimated by computing the extracellular focal synaptic potential (FSP) from spike-triggered averages of 1024 sweeps at 100 microns intervals along tracks through STR and MotV. Trigger pulses were derived from spindle afferent cell bodies of the jaw-closer muscles recorded in the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus, and characterized by the effect of SCh on their responses to ramp-and-hold stretches. 3. The maximum size of FSPs in tracks traversing STR and MotV ranged from 2.08 to 36.99 microV with a mean of 7.55 microV. The amplitudes were bimodally distributed into roughly equal-sized groups with high and low amplitude FSPs. 4. Mean values of delta IF were significantly greater for the group with large FSPs than for those with small FSPs. There were no significant differences in delta DD. FSP amplitude was significantly positively correlated with delta IF, but not with delta DD. 5. Spindle afferents with high values of FSP amplitude in MotV had a wide range of values of delta DD (b1b2c and b2c groups), while units with large FSPs in STR were all in the b2c category. Some evidence is presented to indicate that this reflects a preferential projection of secondary afferents to the STR. 6. For those units with projection to both STR and to MotV, there was a significant positive correlation between FSP amplitude in the two nuclei. 7. These results indicate that the extent of the b2 influence on spindle afferents predicts the central projection strength better than does the b1 influence. This finding is discussed from the viewpoint of possible developmental and functional issues.[1]


  1. Projection of cat jaw muscle spindle afferents related to intrafusal fibre influence. Taylor, A., Durbaba, R., Rodgers, J.F. J. Physiol. (Lond.) (1993) [Pubmed]
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