Segmental reflexes mediated by joint afferent neurons in cat knee

J Neurophysiol. 1978 Jan;41(1):9-14. doi: 10.1152/jn.1978.41.1.9.


1. Reflex effects mediated by knee joint afferent neurons were tested using the electrically evoked monosynaptic reflex in motoneurons innervating muscles which act about the knee. 2. Joint afferents were excited using small extension movements of the knee, stimuli which have been shown to be effective in activating a large fraction of the myelinated fibers in joint nerves. Because of the variability of reflex responses observed by others under similar experimental conditions, experimental control and data collection were done automatically under computer control. Large numbers of trials were presented in random sequence, and the resulting data were sorted and averaged. 3. Positive feedback was observed in both knee extensor (vasti) and knee flexor (posterior biceps-semitendinosus (PB-ST)) motoneuron populations. Vasti motoneurons were excited, and PB-ST motoneurons were inhibited by knee extensions when the posterior articular nerve (PAN) was intact; these effects were lost or substantially reduced when the PAN was cut. 4. Using knee extension stimuli, no reliable reflex effects were observed which could be attributed to afferents in medial articular nerve.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Knee Joint / innervation*
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Reflex, Monosynaptic*