Functional diversity of motoneurons in the oculomotor system
|Author/s||García Hernández, Rosendo Miguel
Martín Calvo, Paula
Rodríguez de la Cruz, Rosa María
Pastor Loro, Ángel Manuel
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Fisiología|
|Abstract||Extraocular muscles contain two types of muscle fibers according to their innervation pattern: singly innervated muscle fibers (SIFs), similar to most skeletal muscle fibers, and multiply innervated muscle fibers (MIFs). ...
Extraocular muscles contain two types of muscle fibers according to their innervation pattern: singly innervated muscle fibers (SIFs), similar to most skeletal muscle fibers, and multiply innervated muscle fibers (MIFs). Morphological studies have revealed that SIF and MIF motoneurons are segregated anatomically and receive different proportions of certain afferents, suggesting that while SIF motoneurons would participate in the whole repertoire of eye movements, MIF motoneurons would contribute only to slow eye movements and fixations. We have tested that proposal by performing single-unit recordings, in alert behaving cats, of electrophysiologically identified MIF and SIF motoneurons in the abducens nucleus. Our results show that both types of motoneuron discharge in relation to eye position and velocity, displaying a tonic–phasic firing pattern for different types of eye movement (saccades, vestibulo-ocular reflex, vergence) and gaze-holding. However, MIF motoneurons presented an overall reduced firing rate compared with SIF motoneurons, and had significantly lower recruitment threshold and also lower eye position and velocity sensitivities. Accordingly, MIF motoneurons could control mainly gaze in the off-direction, when less force is needed, whereas SIF motoneurons would contribute to increase muscle tension progressively toward the on-direction as more force is required. Anatomically, MIF and SIF motoneurons distributed intermingled within the abducens nucleus, with MIF motoneurons being smaller and having a lesser somatic synaptic coverage. Our data demonstrate the functional participation of both MIF and SIF motoneurons in fixations and slow and phasic eye movements, although their discharge properties indicate a functional segregation.
|Citation||García Hernández, R.M., Martín Calvo, P., Blumer, R., Rodríguez de la Cruz, R.M. y Pastor Loro, Á.M. (2019). Functional diversity of motoneurons in the oculomotor system. PNAS, 116 (9), 3837-3846.|