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Functional analysis of human intrafusal fiber innervation by human γ-motoneurons.

Functional analysis of human intrafusal fiber innervation by human γ-motoneurons.
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Colón A, Guo X, Akanda N, Cai Y, Hickman JJ,


Colón A, Guo X, Akanda N, Cai Y, Hickman JJ, (click to view)

Colón A, Guo X, Akanda N, Cai Y, Hickman JJ,

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Scientific reports 2017 12 087(1) 17202 doi 10.1038/s41598-017-17382-2
Abstract

Investigation of neuromuscular deficits and diseases such as SMA, as well as for next generation prosthetics, utilizing in vitro phenotypic models would benefit from the development of a functional neuromuscular reflex arc. The neuromuscular reflex arc is the system that integrates the proprioceptive information for muscle length and activity (sensory afferent), to modify motoneuron output to achieve graded muscle contraction (actuation efferent). The sensory portion of the arc is composed of proprioceptive sensory neurons and the muscle spindle, which is embedded in the muscle tissue and composed of intrafusal fibers. The gamma motoneurons (γ-MNs) that innervate these fibers regulate the intrafusal fiber’s stretch so that they retain proper tension and sensitivity during muscle contraction or relaxation. This mechanism is in place to maintain the sensitivity of proprioception during dynamic muscle activity and to prevent muscular damage. In this study, a co-culture system was developed for innervation of intrafusal fibers by human γ-MNs and demonstrated by morphological and immunocytochemical analysis, then validated by functional electrophysiological evaluation. This human-based fusimotor model and its incorporation into the reflex arc allows for a more accurate recapitulation of neuromuscular function for applications in disease investigations, drug discovery, prosthetic design and neuropathic pain investigations.

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