Postsynaptic versus Presynaptic Inhibition in Antagonistic Stretch Reflexes

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Science  20 May 1966:
Vol. 152, Issue 3725, pp. 1097-1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.152.3725.1097


Motoneurons of the cat gastrocnemius-soleus muscle were studied intracellularly with conventional glass micropipettes. Each of these motoneurons was made to fire repetitively by stretch of its own muscle (gastrocnemius-soleus), and by current injected through the impaling microelectrode. By comparing the amount of inhibitory influence from antagonistic stretch of posterior biceps on the repetitive firing in these two different situations, an estimate could be obtained of the relative contribution of postsynaptic inhibition in this type of antagonistic stretch reflex. Even when the experimental conditions were such as to favor presynaptic inhibition, only strong postsynaptic inhibitory effects were seen; presynaptic inhibition was not found.