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TRIPLE PROJECTIONS OF NEURONES LOCATED IN S1 AND S2 SEGMENTS OF THE CAT SPINAL CORD TO THE C6 SEGMENT, THE CEREBELLUM AND THE RETICULAR FORMATION

  • K. GROTTEL (a1), P. KRUTKI (a1) and W. MRÓWCZYNNSKI (a1)

Abstract

Electrophysiological investigation of neurones in sacral segments of the spinal cord was performed in [alpha]-chloralose-anaesthetized cats in order to establish whether at least some ascending tract neurones could diverge to three different centres located in the brainstem, the cerebellum or the spinal cord. Recordings of antidromic action potentials from cells in S1 and S2 segments were taken following stimulation of the contralateral gigantocellular nucleus, contralateral restiform body and ipsi- and contralateral grey matter of the C6 spinal segment. Antidromic responses allowed identification of several types of neurones that differed in their pattern of supraspinal or propriospinal projections. In eighteen out of a total of sixty-three neurones triple projections to all the above structures were found. In the majority of cells investigated their axons divided into two branches ascending both ipsi- and contralaterally in the lateral funiculi of the spinal cord. Their cell bodies were distributed in laminae VII-VIII except for a minor group of neurones that projected to the C6 segment only, which were located in laminae V-VI. The latter group also displayed lower values of axonal conduction velocities. Comparison of conduction velocities in proximal and distal parts of axons revealed significant slowing in most, raising the possibility that additional collaterals were present to other spinal or supraspinal centres. Dual and triple projections from most cells in this study suggest that such a divergence may be a more common feature of ascending tract neurones than has been reported before.

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