Biological Cybernetics

Repetitive firing of Renshaw spinal interneurons

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A model of the Renshaw spinal interneuron has been developed. The model consists of a nonhomogeneous cylinder divided into three compartments: dendrites, soma and axon initial segment (I.S). The soma and dendrites are represented as a cylindrical cable by the method of Rall (1962); anatomical data of Jankowska and Lindström (1971) from fluorescent dye injections were used to construct the cable. The soma and I.S. membranes are assumed to have Hodgkin-Huxley-like membrane activity. In comparison with our previous model of a tonic motorneuron (Traub, 1977), the Renshaw cell has a faster membrane time constant, faster Hodgkin-Huxley rate functions, αh and βh shifted to the right on the voltage axis, and no slow potassium conductance. With appropriate input conductances, the Renshaw cell model exhibits the following features: it develops very high frequency bursts (over 1000 impulses per s) which trail off over a period of 10-20 ms; the second spike has small amplitude and successive spikes develop progressively larger amplitudes. Comparisons are drawn with the experimental observations of Eccles et al. (1961) and Willis and Willis (`966). With this model, it is feasible to compute the steady firing rate for a large number of steady synaptic excitatory and inhibitory conductances by direct integration of the differential equations. © 1977 Springer-Verlag.


01 Jun 1977


Biological Cybernetics