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An in vitro preparation of newborn rat isolated brainstem/spinal cord was used in order to locate the spinal network responsible in mammals for producing patterned locomotor activity. The spinal cord was partitioned by building Vaseline walls at various lumbar levels. When a mixture of serotonin and N-methyl-D,L-aspartate was bath applied to the upper(More)
1. The role of serotonin (5-HT) and excitatory amino-acids (EAAs) in the activation of the neural networks (i.e. the central pattern generators) that organize locomotion in mammals was investigated in an isolated brainstem-spinal cord preparation from the newborn rat. 2. The neuroactive substances were bath applied and the activity of fictive locomotion was(More)
How is load sensed by receptors, and how is this sensory information used to guide locomotion? Many insights in this domain have evolved from comparative studies since it has been realized that basic principles concerning load sensing and regulation can be found in a wide variety of animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate. Feedback about load is not only(More)
1. The oscillatory properties of the lumbar spinal networks that generate locomotor activity in mammals were studied. These experiments were performed on an in vitro isolated spinal cord preparation from newborn rats. Adding to the saline serotonin (5-HT) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) excitatory amino acid receptor agonist (N-methyl-D,L-aspartate, NMA)(More)
The adult pattern of locomotion is observed at the end of the second postnatal week in the rat. The in vitro spinal cord isolated from immature rats has served as a valuable preparation to study the mechanisms underlying the development of locomotion. Although the rat is unable to walk at birth, because of an immature posture, its spinal cord networks can(More)
Rhythmic motor activities were studied in two rat spinal cord preparations; in the first one, the spinal cord was completely isolated and the ventral roots activity was recorded; in the other, spinal cord and hindlimbs were kept in order to record muscle activities. Motor patterns were therefore recorded in ventral roots and/or hindlimb muscles. Two kinds(More)
The toxin fraction (FTX) and peptide omega-Aga-IVA from the venom of the funnel-web spider Agelenopsis aperta, as well as a synthetic analogue of FTX, specifically block the P-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel (VDCC). The effects of these toxins on synaptic transmission were studied in the neuromuscular synapses of the crayfish opener muscle, which has a(More)
Bath application of muscarinic agonists induced rhythmic motor activity in an in vitro preparation of the thoracic nervous system of the crayfish, Procambarus clarkii. In 70% of the cases, the rhythm was organized into 1 of the 2 normal patterns: "backward" walking or "forward" walking. In the rest (30%), the ganglion produced either a series of bursts of(More)
The rat is quite immature at birth and a rapid maturation of motor behavior takes place during the first 2 postnatal weeks. Lumbar motoneurons undergo a rapid development during this period. The last week before birth represents the initial stages of motoneuron differentiation, including regulation of the number of cells and the arrival of segmental and(More)
We investigated the influence of gravity on the maturation of electrical properties of lumbar motoneurons and the development of their inputs from ventral descending pathways, which are important for the control of posture and locomotion. Using electrophysiological approaches in the in vitro brain stem-spinal cord preparation of neonatal rats born and(More)