Fictive Rhythmic Motor Patterns Induced by NMDA in an In Vitro Brain Stem - Spinal Cord Preparation From an Adult Urodele

  • Delvolvé I
  • Branchereau P
  • Dubuc R
 et al. 
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An in vitro brain stem-spinal cord preparation from an adult urodele (Pleurodeles waltl) was developed in which two fictive rhythmic motor patterns were evoked by bath application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA; 2.5-10 microM) with D-serine (10 microM). Both motor patterns displayed left-right alternation. The first pattern was characterized by cycle periods ranging between 2.4 and 9. 0 s (4.9 +/- 1.2 s, mean +/- SD) and a rostrocaudal propagation of the activity in consecutive ventral roots. The second pattern displayed longer cycle periods (8.1-28.3 s; 14.2 +/- 3.6 s) with a caudorostral propagation. The two patterns were inducible after a spinal transection at the first segment. Preliminary experiments on small pieces of spinal cord further suggested that the ability for rhythm generation is distributed along the spinal cord of this preparation. This study shows that the in vitro brain stem-spinal cord preparation from Pleurodeles waltl may be a useful model to study the mechanisms underlying the different axial motor patterns and the flexibility of the neural networks involved.

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  • Isabelle Delvolvé

  • Pascal Branchereau

  • Réjean Dubuc

  • Jean-Marie Cabelguen

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