Different patterns of fore-hindlimb coordination during overground locomotion in cats with ventral and lateral spinal lesions

Exp Brain Res. 1995;104(1):70-80. doi: 10.1007/BF00229856.


The effect of large, low thoracic (T10-T11), partial spinal lesions involving the ventral quadrants of the spinal cord and, to a different extent, the dorsolateral funiculi, on fore-hindlimb coordination was examined in cats walking overground at moderate speeds (40-100 cm/s). Three different forms of impairment of fore-hindlimb coordination depending on the extent of the lesions, were observed. Lesions sparing the dorsolateral or the ventral funiculus on one side preserved the equality of the fore- and hindlimb locomotor rhythms but changed the coupling between the movements of both girdles as compared to intact animals. Larger lesions in which, in addition to the ventral quadrants of the spinal cord, also major parts of the dorsolateral funiculi were destroyed elicited episodes of rhythm oscillations in both girdles, which appeared at the background of a small difference in these rhythms. Lesions destroying almost the whole spinal cord induced a permanent difference (about 200 ms) in the step cycle duration of the fore- and the hindlimbs. However, even in these animals some remnant form of fore-hindlimb coordination was found. The results suggest that dorsolateral funiculi play a major role in preserving the equality of rhythms in the fore- and the hindlimbs, while lesions of the ventral quadrants change the coupling between limbs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Forelimb / physiopathology*
  • Hindlimb / physiopathology*
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Male
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*