PMID: 10096844Mar 30, 1999Paper

Recurrent inhibition in humans

Progress in Neurobiology
R Katz, E Pierrot-Deseilligny


Methods have been developed to investigate recurrent inhibition (RI) in humans. A conditioning reflex discharge is used to evoke in motoneurones (MNs) supplying homonymous and synergistic muscles, an inhibition the characteristics of which are consistent with RI: it appears and increases with the conditioning motor discharge, has a short latency and a long duration, and is enhanced by an agonist of acetylcholine. As in the cat, homonymous RI exists in all explored motor nuclei of the limbs except those of the digits and the pattern of distribution of heteronymous RI closely matches that of monosynaptic Ia excitation. However, striking inter-species differences exist concerning the distribution of heteronymous RI since it is much more widely extended in the human lower limb than in the cat hindlimb, whereas it is more restricted in the upper limb than in the cat forelimb. Changes in transmission in the recurrent pathway have been investigated during various voluntary or postural contractions involving different (homonymous, synergistic, antagonistic) muscles and it has been found that the activation of Renshaw cells (RCs) by the voluntary motor discharge via recurrent collaterals was powerfully controlled by descending tracts: f...Continue Reading


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