Time course and properties of late adaptation in spinal motoneurones of the cat

Exp Brain Res. 1982;46(2):191-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00237176.


In the spinal cord of anaesthetized cats, motoneurones of m-gastrocnemius medialis were stimulated to repetitive firing by very long-lasting steady currents injected through an intracellular microelectrode (maximum duration 4 min). In such discharges, a gradual decline in impulse frequency was found to occur during several tens of seconds. Most of this "late adaptation" occurred during the first 30 s of firing. Comparisons between the responses of different cells showed that the frequency-drop during late adaptation was strongly correlated to the impulse rate at the beginning of the discharge. For one and the same cell, late adaptation was more prominent at strong than at weaker intensities of stimulation (i.e.., at high than at lower initial firing rates). In cells capable of discharging continuously for several minutes, a semi-stationary discharge rate tended to be reached after about 1 min or less.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Hindlimb / innervation
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission*