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Abstract

Stimulation of the contralateral red nucleus evoked monosynaptic EPSPs in 14 of 82 ventral spinocerebellar tract neurones. In some of these cells the monosynaptic EPSP was followed by a disynaptic IPSP. The remaining cell population received di- or polysynaptic PSPs from the rubrospinal tract, either EPSPs or IPSPs or both. Convergence of the rubrospinal tract onto interneurones of the segmental pathways projecting to VSCT cells was demonstrated. Rubrospinal volleys facilitated disynaptic Ia IPSPs evoked in VSCT neurones from both flexors and extensors, as well as disynaptic Ib IPSPs. Facilitation of the Ia interneurones was disynaptic whereas facilitation of Ib interneurones was monosynaptic. Disynaptic rubrospinal EPSPs and IPSPs were facilitated by volleys in ipsi- as well as in contralateral cutaneous and high threshold muscle afferents. The complex pattern of projections from the rubrospinal tract onto VSCT neurones and the related reflex pathways gives further support to the hypothesis that these tract cells convey information on transmission through interneurones of the spinal segmental mechanisms.