Distribution of recurrent inhibition within a motor nucleus. I. Contribution from slow and fast motor units to the excitation of Renshaw cells

Acta Physiol Scand. 1988 Nov;134(3):347-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1988.tb08503.x.

Abstract

The relation between the size of a monosynaptic reflex (MSR) to triceps surae and the resulting Renshaw cell discharge was used to evaluate the contribution from slow and fast motor units to the excitation of Renshaw cells. It is, however, difficult to interpret these results in terms of excitation contributed by slow and fast motor units because of the following reasons. First, the size of the MSR recorded in ventral roots is not linearly related to the number of recruited motor units, since larger motor axons contribute more to the size of the MSR than smaller ones. Second, the number of spikes evoked in a Renshaw cell burst is not linearly related to the excitatory input because Renshaw cell discharge saturates in the case of large responses. The contribution of small, early-recruited motoneurones to Renshaw cell excitation is consequently overestimated. Procedures were introduced to deal with these problems. It is concluded that the last-recruited motor units (probably 'fast twitch, fast fatiguing') on average contribute four times as much excitation to Renshaw cells as the first recruited ('slow twitch') motor units.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cats
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Reflex, Monosynaptic*
  • Research Design
  • Spinal Cord / physiology