The cellular bases of vertebrate locomotor behaviour is reviewed using the lamprey as a model system. Forebrain and brainstem cell populations initiate locomotor activity via reticulospinal fibers activating a spinal network comprised of glutamatergic and glycinergic interneurons. The role of different subtypes of Ca2+ channels, Ca2+ dependent K+ channels and voltage dependent NMDA channels at the neuronal and network level is in focus as well as the effects of different metabotropic, aminergic and peptidergic modulators that target these ion channels. This is one of the few vertebrate networks that is understood at a cellular level.
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