Functional and morphological features of neurons in the midline region of the caudal spinal cord of the cat

Christopher N. Honda, Edward R. Perl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurons surrounding and dorsal to the central canal in caudal segments of the cat spinal cord were functionally and morphologically characterized. From electrophysiologically obtained responses these neurons were categorized into 3 functional groups based on excitation by somatic afferent stimulation. Eighteen of 36 units were activated by both low threshold and high threshold primary afferent inputs. Of the remaining 18 units, 9 responded only to innocuous intensities of stimulation and the other 9 were excited selectively by noxious peripheral stimulation. Neurons intracellularly marked with horseradish peroxidase formed a heterogeneous population with respect to perikaryal size, dendritic orientation and dendritic extent, and no evident correlations between functional categories and morphological features were observed in light microscopic analyses. Neurons immediately surrounding the central canal were functionally similar to neurons located in the dorsally adjacent gray matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Volume340
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 12 1985

Keywords

  • central canal
  • lamina X
  • midline dorsal horn
  • nociception
  • spinal cord

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