Branching neurones in the cervical spinal cord with axons that reach sacral segments and the lateral reticular nucleus. An electrophysiological study in the cat
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Branching neurones in the cervical enlargement of the spinal cord were electrophysiologically studied in alpha-chloralose anaesthetized cats with the method of antidromic activation of axons. Stimulating electrodes were placed bilaterally at levels of lower thoracic and sacral segments and in the lateral reticular nucleus (LRN), ipsilaterally to the recording sites in C6/C7 segments. Thirty-nine out of a total one hundred neurones could be classified as bidirectional neurones with both descending and ascending collaterals. In the remaining cases only long descending projections to spinal segments were found. Comparison of conduction velocities measured in descending branches revealed no significant differences between individual neurones. On the other hand, descending collaterals of double direction neurones conducted impulses considerably faster than their axonal branches ascending to LRN. Our results suggest that parallel transmission of information to various, spinal or supraspinal centres of the nervous system is more common than reported before.
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P. Krutki, Department of Neurobiology, University School of Physical Education, 55 Grunwaldzka St., 60-352 Poznan, Poland