PMID: 7932300Sep 1, 1994Paper

Effects of strychnine on fictive swimming in the lamprey: evidence for glycinergic inhibition, discrepancies with model predictions, and novel modulatory rhythms

Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
D R McPhersonS Kasicki


1. Inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (ipsps) produced by two classes of interneurons, CC (Contralateral and caudal projecting) and lateral interneurons, were tested for strychnine sensitivity using paired intracellular recordings in the lamprey spinal cord. The ipsps were partially blocked by 0.2-0.5 microM strychnine and were completely blocked by 5 microM strychnine. Thus, the ipsps may be glycinergic. 2. These interneurons are key participants in a proposed circuit model for fictive swimming. A connectionist-type computer simulation of the model demonstrated that the cycle period of the network increased with decreasing ipsp strength. 3. Application of strychnine (0.1-0.5 microM) to the spinal cord during fictive swimming induced by an excitatory amino acid increased cycle period, consistent with previous reports, but at odds with stimulation predictions. 4. Strychnine also produced slow rhythmic modulation of fictive swimming (period = 12 s) which maintained left-right alternation and rostral-caudal coordination. Auto- and cross-correlation analyses revealed that the slow modulation was present in a weaker form in most control preparations during fictive swimming. 5. Since the proposed model for the swimming pattern genera...Continue Reading


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