Inhibition downunder: an update from the spinal cord

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Jun;26:161-6. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Apr 17.


Inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord perform dedicated roles in processing somatosensory information and shaping motor behaviors that range from simple protective reflexes to more complex motor tasks such as locomotion, reaching and grasping. Recent efforts examining inhibition in the spinal cord have been directed toward determining how inhibitory cell types are specified and incorporated into the sensorimotor circuitry, identifying and characterizing molecularly defined cohorts of inhibitory neurons and interrogating the functional contribution these cells make to sensory processing and motor behaviors. Rapid progress is being made on all these fronts, driven in large part by molecular genetic and optogenetic approaches that are being creatively combined with neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / cytology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*