Modulation of hindlimbreflexes by tonic neck positions in cats

Research paper by D. Wenzel, U. Thoden

Indexed on: 01 Jan '77Published on: 01 Jan '77Published in: Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology


In cats with the head fixed in a stereotactic frame a slight facilitation of the gastrocnemiussoleus (GS) monosynaptic reflexes in the ipsilateral hindlimb, accompanied by an inhibition of the monosynaptic reflex of the antagonistic deep peroneal nerve (DP), occurs following lateral flexion and rotation around the body axis at an angle of 25°. Following dorsiflexion of the body a moderate inhibition of the extensor reflexes (GS) up to 10% and a reciprocal slight excitation in the same range of the monosynaptic reflexes of flexor muscles (DP) is recorded. On the other hand after ventriflexion of the body there is a marked inhibition in the range of 50% of all the monosynaptic extensor and flexor reflexes for all the stimulus intensities used. This inhibition can already be demonstrated in ventriflexion of 10°–15°. All these patterns of reflex modulation are similar in cortically intact, ischemically decorticated and precollicularly decerebrated cats. Furthermore these patterns are not essentially influenced by cerebellectomy, although all reflex amplitudes are reduced. However, the spinal reflexes can not be modulated by these body movements after acute spinalization.