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Site-specific postural and locomotor changes evoked in awake, freely moving intact cats by stimulating the brainstem.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brain Research
0006-8993
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
505
Issue
1
Pages
66–74
Identifiers
PMID: 2611678
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Locomotor behaviors evoked by stimulating the hypothalamus and the brainstem were studied in freely moving, awake cats. To do this, stimulating microelectrodes were chronically implanted into the subthalamic locomotor region (SLR) in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), the mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) corresponding to the nucleus cuneiformis, the dorsal tegmental field (DTF) and the ventral tegmental field (VTF) of caudal pons along its midline. After recovery from surgery (2-3 days), open field tests were performed to study stimulus effects upon posture and locomotor movements. The stimuli consisted of pulses of 0.2 ms duration of less than 80 microA delivered at 50 pulses/s for 5-20 s. DTF stimulation resulted in suppression of postural support by the hindlimbs. When the cat was in a standing posture, DTF stimulation simply resulted in a sequential alteration of posture to a squatting and then to a final lying posture. In contrast, VTF stimulation evoked an almost opposite series of postural changes to those induced by DTF stimulation. With VTF stimulation, the cat changed from a lying or a squatting position, and then started to walk during continuation of the stimulation. With MLR stimulation, the cat invariably exhibited fast walking and then running movements. It ran straight forward, avoiding collision with walls or other obstacles, and even tried to jump over a fence placed in front of it. With LHA stimulation, the cat started to walk slowly extending its head forward and looking around repeatedly. It tended to walk with a stoop and stealthy steps along the corners of the room. Induced postural and locomotor changes were always accompanied by behavioral arousal reactions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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