Corticospinal tract transection reduces H-reflex circadian rhythm in rats.

TitleCorticospinal tract transection reduces H-reflex circadian rhythm in rats.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsChen, XY, Chen, L, Wolpaw, J, Jakeman, LB
JournalBrain research
Date Published06/2002
Keywordscircadian rhythms, corticospinal tract, diurnal rhythm, H-Reflex, rat, spinal cord injury

In freely moving rats and monkeys, H-reflex amplitude displays a marked circadian variation without change in background motoneuron tone. In rats, the H-reflex is largest around noon and smallest around midnight. The present study evaluated in rats the effects on this rhythm of calibrated contusions of mid-thoracic spinal cord and mid-thoracic transection of specific spinal cord pathways. In 33 control rats, rhythm amplitude averaged 29.0(+/-2.6 S.E.)% of H-reflex amplitude. Contusion injuries at T8-9 that destroyed 53-88% of the white matter significantly reduced the rhythm to 18.9(+/-2.4)% of H-reflex amplitude. Transection of the ipsilateral lateral column, which contains the rubrospinal, vestibulospinal, and reticulospinal tracts, or bilateral transection of the dorsal column ascending tract did not affect rhythm amplitude or phase. In contrast, bilateral transection of the main corticospinal tract significantly reduced the rhythm to 14.7(+/-6.6)%. These results indicate that the H-reflex circadian rhythm depends in part on descending influence from the brain and that this influence is conveyed by the main corticospinal tract.


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