Fusimotor outflow to pretibial flexors during fatiguing contractions of the triceps surae in decerebrate cats

M. Ljubisavljević, S. Radovanović, I. Vukčević, R. Anastasijević

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in discharge rate of fusimotor neurones to pretibial flexor muscles were recorded during and after long-lasting fatiguing isometric and/or isotonic contractions of triceps surae in decerebrate cats. The contractions were elicited by electrical stimulation of the nerves to triceps. Fusimotor spikes were recorded from nerve filaments dissected free from the peroneal nerve. Responses of the fusimotor neurones were diverse. In isometric regime, 22 out of 40 units recorded exhibited an initial increase at the onset of muscle contraction, different in amplitude and duration among the units. In seven of these units an additional brisk burst of spike discharges, of different duration, occurred at the end of the contraction. In 15 fusimotor neurones (14 units with the initial response and an additional unit without it) a slow increase in discharge rate developed, starting during the contraction and outlasting it. In another eleven units the intial response was a decrease in discharge rate, lasting in six of them throughout the contraction. Another six units exhibited a sustained increase in discharge rate throughout the contraction, as well as, at a lower level, but still above the spontaneous one, thereafter. Similar patterns of changes in discharge rate, recorded in 31 of the units, were encountered during isotonic triceps contractions. It should be mentioned that many (about 20) additional silent neurones, responding to manipulating the skin and paw and/or stroking the fur, but not to triceps contractions were encountered. The majority of changes in discharge rate of fusimotor neurones to pretibial flexors differed markedly from those found previously in fusimotor neurones to triceps and hamstring muscles. According to their timing, most of them seemed to be related to tension and/or length changes in the contracting triceps muscles. Only the slowly developing late increase in firing rate, encountered in approximately one third of the responding units (38% in isometric regime and 32% in isotonic regime) could be related to muscle fatigue. Differences in response patterns of fusimotor neurones to different muscle groups might be in accordance with function of muscles of their destination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 11 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Fusimotor neuron
  • Muscle contraction
  • Muscle fatigue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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