Dorsal horn cells in the cat responding to stimulation of the plantar cushion

M. David Egger, Natalie C.G. Freeman, Mark Jacquin, Eric Proshansky, Kazue Semba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Dorsal horn cells (DHC) in the spinal cord of cats responding to low threshold mechanical stimulation of the plantar cushion (PC), labelled with intracellular horseradish peroxidase, displayed a wide variety of anatomical and physiological characteristics, some of which were quite consistent within a given lamina. These DHC had cell bodies located medially in spinal segment L7, in laminae III, IV and VI. Dendritic fields varied greatly, for the most part conforming to patterns corresponding to their locations in the dorsal horn. Axon collaterals of most DHC ramified near their cell bodies, chiefly projecting ventralward within the same lamina as the cell body or into more ventral laminae. Cells with the shortest central delays had cell bodies in laminae III and IV. Response latencies of DHC to PC stimulation were only slightly greater than the latencies of primary afferent fibers. Lamina IV cells had mechanical thresholds comparable to those of the primary afferents, significantly lower than the thresholds of cells of laminae III or VI. The receptive fields (RF) of the lamina IV cells were significantly larger than those of the primary afferent fibers or of the lamina VI cells. Relationships among RF area, mediolateral locations of cell bodies and dendritic spread were investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-82
Number of pages15
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 24 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Axon collateral
  • Dendrite
  • Dorsal horn
  • Plantar cushion
  • Receptive field
  • Spinal cord


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