François Y. Clarac

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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 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)
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)
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)
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)
1. The central control of sensory inputs from a proprioceptor [chordotonal organ (CO)] in the second joint [coxo-basipodite (CB)] of the fifth leg was studied in crayfish in vitro preparations (Fig. 1A). Simultaneous intracellular recordings from CBCO terminals (CBT) and postsynaptic motoneurons (MNs) were performed along with micropipette pressure ejection(More)
Presynaptic inhibition is a widespread mechanism among invertebrates and its study has developed quite independently from that which has occurred in vertebrates. However, it is striking that recent studies on presynaptic inhibition in sensory afferents of Arthropod have shown great similarities with presynaptic control exerted in the mammalian spinal cord(More)
The first postnatal week is a critical period for the development of posture in the rat. The use of ankle extensor muscles in postural reactions increases during this period. Changes in excitability of motoneurons are probably an important factor underlying this maturation. The aim of this study was to identify whether variations in the maturation exist(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)
The monosynaptic stretch reflex is a fundamental feature of sensory-motor organization in most animal groups. In isolation, it serves largely as a negative feedback devoted to postural controls; however, when it is involved in diverse movements, it can be modified by central command circuits. In order to understand the implications of such modifications, a(More)