Changes in fusimotor activity during repetitive lengthening muscle contractions in decerebrate cats

M. Ljubisavljević, I. Kalezić, S. Radovanović, S. Milanović, S. Blesić, R. Anastasijević

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Responses of fusimotor neurons to lengthening vs isometric contractions have been studied in decerebrate cats. Spike discharges of fusimotor neurons to the medial gastrocnemius muscle were recorded from this muscle nerve filament during sequences of contractions and/or stretches of the lateral gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. The sequences lasted for 250-450 s (duty cycle 4:2 s). Isometric contractions were elicited by electrical stimulation (40 Hz, 1.3 times motor threshold) of the muscle nerves. Lengthening contractions were elicited in the same way while the muscles were stretched by 4 mm at a velocity of 1 mm/s. Of 25 fusimotor neurons studied, 23 responded to muscle contractions with an increase in firing rate, subsiding towards the end of the sequence. The increase was either modulated with each subsequent contraction or smooth throughout the sequence. Approximately 64% of fusimotor neurons, responding to muscle contractions, responded in a similar way to the sequences of muscle stretches, applied alone. Responses to sequences of the lengthening contractions were significantly larger, on average, than those to the isometric ones, but smaller than the sum of the responses to the contractions and stretches applied separately. On the other hand, they were also larger in fusimotor units, showing no overt responses to muscle stretches alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1342
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 18 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Fusimotor neurons
  • Muscle contraction
  • Muscle stretch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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