Newly identified 'glutamate interneurons' and their role in locomotion in the lamprey spinal cord

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Science  17 Apr 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4799, pp. 312-314
DOI: 10.1126/science.3563512


A new class of excitatory premotor interneurons that are important in the generation of locomotion in the lamprey has now been described. In the isolated spinal cord, these neurons act simultaneously with their postsynaptic motoneurons during fictive swimming. They are small and numerous, and they monosynaptically excite both motoneurons and inhibitory premotor interneurons. The excitatory postsynaptic potentials are depressed by an antagonist of excitatory amino acids. These interneurons receive reticulospinal input from the brain stem and polysynaptic input form skin afferents. A model of the network underlying locomotion based on the synaptic interactions of these neurons can now be proposed for the lamprey.

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