Corticospinal inhibition of transmission in propriospinal-like neurones during human walking

The European Journal of Neuroscience
Caroline IglesiasV Marchand-Pauvert


It is crucial for human walking that muscles acting at different joints are optimally coordinated in relation to each other. This is ensured by interaction between spinal neuronal networks, sensory feedback and supraspinal control. Here we investigated the cortical control of spinal excitation from ankle dorsiflexor afferents to quadriceps motoneurones mediated by propriospinal-like interneurones. During walking and tonic contraction of ankle dorsiflexors and knee extensors while standing [at matched electromyography (EMG) levels], the effect of common peroneal nerve (CPN) stimulation on quadriceps motoneurones was tested by assessing averaged and rectified EMG activity, H-reflexes [evoked by femoral nerve (FN) stimulation] and motor evoked potentials (MEPs) produced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The biphasic EMG facilitation (CPQ-reflex) produced by isolated CPN stimulation was enhanced during walking, and when CPN stimulation was combined with FN or TMS, the resulting H-reflexes and MEPs were inhibited. The CPQ-reflex was also depressed when CPN stimulation was combined with subthreshold TMS. The peripheral (in CPN and FN) and corticospinal volleys may activate inhibitory non-reciprocal group I interneurones, ma...Continue Reading


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