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Keywords:

  • spinal cord;
  • HRP;
  • intracellular staining;
  • ascending tract cells

Abstract

Neurones of origin of the ventral spinocerebellar tract were stained with intracellularly applied horseradish peroxidase to investigate whether they give off any initial axon collaterals. The neurones were located in the fourth and fifth lumbar segments and were identified by their antidromic activation following stimulation in the contralateral superior cerebellar peduncle. Nine of the 23 neurones with well-stained axons were found to give off axon collaterals soon after the axons crossed the midline. The collaterals entered the contralateral ventral horn and branched within lamina VII and the dorsal part of lamina VIII. Collaterals were found arising only from neurones located in the middle of lamina VII and from axons which took a mediorostral direction. In all of these neurones excitatory postsynaptic potentials were evoked from group Ia afferents of at least some nerves, in addition to such potentials from Ib or unidentified group I afferents, and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials were evoked from group I and II afferents. The area of terminal branching of the collaterals suggests that they may supply contralateral ventral spinocerebellar neurones with information from muscles and/or mediate crossed reflexes from group I afferents.