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Responses of muscle spindles in feline dorsal neck muscles to electrical stimulation of the cervical sympathetic nerve.
University of Gävle, Belastningsskadecentrum.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4556-2846
University of Gävle, Belastningsskadecentrum.
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2005 (English)In: Experimental Brain Research, ISSN 0014-4819, E-ISSN 1432-1106, Vol. 165, no 3, 328-42 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous studies performed in jaw muscles of rabbits and rats have demonstrated that sympathetic outflow may affect the activity of muscle spindle afferents (MSAs). The resulting impairment of MSA information has been suggested to be involved in the genesis and spread of chronic muscle pain. The present study was designed to investigate sympathetic influences on muscle spindles in feline trapezius and splenius muscles (TrSp), as these muscles are commonly affected by chronic pain in humans. Experiments were carried out in cats anesthetized with alpha-chloralose. The effect of electrical stimulation (10 Hz for 90 s or 3 Hz for 5 min) of the peripheral stump of the cervical sympathetic nerve (CSN) was investigated on the discharge of TrSp MSAs (units classified as Ia-like and II-like) and on their responses to sinusoidal stretching of these muscles. In some of the experiments, the local microcirculation of the muscles was monitored by laser Doppler flowmetry. In total, 46 MSAs were recorded. Stimulation of the CSN at 10 Hz powerfully depressed the mean discharge rate of the majority of the tested MSAs (73%) and also affected the sensitivity of MSAs to sinusoidal changes of muscle length, which were evaluated in terms of amplitude and phase of the sinusoidal fitting of unitary activity. The amplitude was significantly reduced in Ia-like units and variably affected in II-like units, while in general the phase was affected little and not changed significantly in either group. The discharge of a smaller percentage of tested units was also modulated by 3-Hz CSN stimulation. Blockade of the neuromuscular junctions by pancuronium did not induce any changes in MSA responses to CSN stimulation, showing that these responses were not secondary to changes in extrafusal or fusimotor activity. Further data showed that the sympathetically induced modulation of MSA discharge was not secondary to the concomitant reduction of muscle blood flow induced by the stimulation. Hence, changes in sympathetic outflow can modulate the afferent signals from muscle spindles through an action exerted directly on the spindles, independent of changes in blood flow. It is suggested that such an action may be one of the mechanisms mediating the onset of chronic muscle pain in these muscles in humans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 165, no 3, 328-42 p.
Keyword [en]
Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists pharmacology, Algorithms, Animals, Capillaries physiology, Cats, Electric Stimulation, Laser-Doppler Flowmetry, Muscle Denervation, Muscle Fibers physiology, Muscle Spindles physiology, Neck Muscles innervation physiology, Neuromuscular Blocking Agents pharmacology, Neurons, Afferent physiology, Sympathetic Nervous System physiology, Vasoconstriction physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2861DOI: 10.1007/s00221-005-2309-7ISI: 000231458900006PubMedID: 15883803OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-2861DiVA: diva2:119523
Available from: 2007-11-28 Created: 2007-11-28 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Hellström, FredrikThunberg, JohanDjupsjöbacka, Mats
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