Physiological properties of primate lumbar motoneurons.

TitlePhysiological properties of primate lumbar motoneurons.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsCarp, JS
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Date Published10/1992
KeywordsSpinal Cord

1. Intracellular recordings were obtained from 149 motoneurons innervating triceps surae (n = 109) and more distal muscles (n = 40) in 14 pentobarbital-anesthetized monkeys (Macaca nemestrina). The variables evaluated were resting membrane potential, action potential amplitude, conduction velocity (CV), input resistance (RN), membrane time constant (tau m), electrotonic length (L), whole-cell capacitance (Ctot), long current pulse threshold (rheobase), short current pulse threshold (Ishort), afterhyperpolarization (AHP) maximum amplitude (AHPmax), AHP duration (AHPdur), time to half maximum AHP amplitude (AHP t1/2), depolarization from resting potential to elicit action potential (Vdep), and threshold voltage for action potential discharge (Vthr). 2. Mean values +/- SD for the entire sample of motoneurons are as follows: resting membrane potential -67 +/- 6 mV; action potential amplitude 75 +/- 7 mV; CV 71 +/- 6 m/s; RN 1.0 +/- 0.5 M omega; tau m 4.4 +/- 1.5 ms; L 1.4 +/- 0.2 lambda; Ctot 7.1 +/- 1.8 nF; rheobase 13 +/- 7 nA; Ishort 29 +/- 14 nA; AHPmax 3.5 +/- 1.3 mV; AHPdur 77 +/- 26 ms; AHP t 1/2 21 +/- 7 ms; Vdep 11 +/- 4 mV; and Vthr -56 +/- 5 mV. CV is lower in soleus than in either medial or lateral gastrocnemius motoneurons, and RN is lower and tau m is longer in soleus than in lateral gastrocnemius motoneurons. 3. RN is higher in motoneurons with longer tau m and slower CV. A linear relationship exists between log(CV) and log(1/RN) with a slope of 1.8-2.2 (depending on the action potential amplitude acceptance criteria used), suggesting that membrane resistivity (Rm) does not vary systematically with cell size. 4. Rheobase is higher in motoneurons with lower RN, longer tau m, shorter AHP time course, and higher CV. Ishort and normalized rheobase (i.e., rheobase/Ctot) vary similarly with these motoneuron properties, except that Ishort is independent of tau m and normalized rheobase is independent of CV. 5. Vthr tends to be more depolarized in motoneurons with large Ctot, but the relationship is sufficiently weak so that any systematic variation in Vthr according to cell size probably contributes only minimally to recruitment order. Vthr does not vary systematically with CV, AHP time course, RN, or tau m. 6. Quantitative differences between macaque and cat triceps surae motoneurons are apparent in CV, which is slower in macaque than in cat, and to a lesser extent in tau m and RN, which are lower in macaque than in cat.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)


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