The capacity for generation of rhythmic oscillations is distributed in the lumbosacral spinal cord of the cat

Exp Brain Res. 1983;53(1):81-90. doi: 10.1007/BF00239400.


(1) Pinna stimulation evoked rhythmic oscillations in the spinal cord of the decerebrate curarized cat ("fictitious" scratch reflex). The role of different spinal segments in generation of these oscillations was studied. For this purpose, destruction of the grey matter of one or of several spinal segments was performed. Besides, different numbers of caudal segments were disconnected from the rest of the cord by cooling the lateral surface of the cord. ENGs muscle nerves and activity of spinal neurons were recorded. (2) Different parts of the lumbosacral spinal cord, i.e. the L3 and L4 segments disconnected from the caudal part of the cord as well as the isolated L5 segment, are capable of generating rhythmic oscillations with a frequency (3-4 Hz) typical of the scratch reflex. (3) Rhythmic activity of the more caudal segments (L6-S1) usually appears only provided the rostral segments (L3-L5) generate rhythmic oscillations. However, when the dorsal surface of the L6-S1 segments is cooled, pinna stimulation evokes rhythmic activity in these segments earlier than in the L3-L5 segments. (4) The hypothesis is advanced that the L3-L5 segments are the "leading" ones, i.e., they determine the rhythm of activity in the whole spinal hindlimb centre.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Oscillometry
  • Periodicity
  • Reflex
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Temperature