Pattern Generation for Walking and Searching Movements of a Stick Insect Leg. II. Control of Motoneuronal Activity

Joachim Schmidt, Hanno Fischer, Ansgar Büschges
2001 Journal of Neurophysiology  
Schmidt, Joachim, Hanno Fischer, and Ansgar Bü schges. Pattern generation for walking and searching movements of a stick insect leg. II. Control of motoneuronal activity. J Neurophysiol 85: 354 -361, 2001. In the stick insect, Cuniculina impigra, intracellular recordings from mesothoracic motoneurons that control flexion and extension of the tibia and depression and levation of the trochantero-femur were made while the leg performed walking-like movements on a treadband or stereotyped rhythmic
more » ... ereotyped rhythmic searching movements. We were interested in how synaptic input and intrinsic properties contribute to form the activity pattern of motoneurons during rhythmic leg movements without sensory feedback from other legs. During searching and walking, motoneurons expressed a rhythmic bursting pattern that was formed by a depolarizing input followed by a hyperpolarizing input in the inter-burst interval. This basic pattern was similar in all fast, semi-fast, and slow motoneurons that were recorded. Hyperpolarizations were in synchrony with activity in the antagonistic motoneurons. De-and hyperpolarizations were associated with a decrease in input resistance. All motoneurons showed spike frequency adaptation when depolarized by current injection to a membrane potential similar to that observed during walking. In the hyperpolarizing phase of fast flexor motoneurons, the initial maximum hyperpolarization was followed by a sag in potential toward more depolarized values. Consistent with this observation, only fast flexor motoneurons developed a depolarizing sag potential when hyperpolarized by injection of constant negative current.
doi:10.1152/jn.2001.85.1.354 pmid:11152735 fatcat:yhe45kirgjfjtgkmlcb4q2el5m