Cholinergic networks have been shown to be involved in generation and modulation of the locomotor rhythmic pattern produced by the mammalian central pattern generators. Here, we show that changes in the endogenous levels of acetylcholine in the sacral segments of the isolated spinal cord of the neonatal rat modulate the locomotor-related output produced by stimulation of sacrocaudal afferents in muscarinic receptor-dependent mechanisms. Cholinergic components we found on sacral relay neurons with lumbar projections through the ventral and lateral funiculi are suggested to mediate this ascending cholinergic modulation. Our findings, possible mechanisms accounting for them, and their potential implications are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments The research was supported by grants from Israel Science Foundation (ISF) 1591/08, 1930/08, 491/12 to ALT, and ISF 685/01 and MDA to LA.
- Ascending funiculi
- Locomotor rhythm
- Sensory pathways
- Spinal interneurons