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Ipsilateral and Contralateral Interactions in Spinal Locomotor Circuits Mediated by V1 Neurons: Insights from Computational Modeling

Cholinergic Modulation of Locomotor Circuits in Vertebrates

by 1,*,†, 1 and 2,3,*,†
Institut des Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine (INCIA), UMR 5287, Université de Bordeaux-CNRS, F-33076 Bordeaux, France
Department of Neurosciences, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Department of Physical Activity Sciences and Research Group in Adapted Physical Activity, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Turgay Akay
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(18), 10738;
Received: 25 July 2022 / Revised: 8 September 2022 / Accepted: 9 September 2022 / Published: 14 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuronal Control of Locomotion)
Locomotion is a basic motor act essential for survival. Amongst other things, it allows animals to move in their environment to seek food, escape predators, or seek mates for reproduction. The neural mechanisms involved in the control of locomotion have been examined in many vertebrate species and a clearer picture is progressively emerging. The basic muscle synergies responsible for propulsion are generated by neural networks located in the spinal cord. In turn, descending supraspinal inputs are responsible for starting, maintaining, and stopping locomotion as well as for steering and controlling speed. Several neurotransmitter systems play a crucial role in modulating the neural activity during locomotion. For instance, cholinergic inputs act both at the spinal and supraspinal levels and the underlying mechanisms are the focus of the present review. Much information gained on supraspinal cholinergic modulation of locomotion was obtained from the lamprey model. Nicotinic cholinergic inputs increase the level of excitation of brainstem descending command neurons, the reticulospinal neurons (RSNs), whereas muscarinic inputs activate a select group of hindbrain neurons that project to the RSNs to boost their level of excitation. Muscarinic inputs also reduce the transmission of sensory inputs in the brainstem, a phenomenon that could help in sustaining goal directed locomotion. In the spinal cord, intrinsic cholinergic inputs strongly modulate the activity of interneurons and motoneurons to control the locomotor output. Altogether, the present review underlines the importance of the cholinergic inputs in the modulation of locomotor activity in vertebrates. View Full-Text
Keywords: acetylcholine; neuromodulation; locomotion; descending control; brainstem; spinal cord; mesencephalic locomotion region (MLR) acetylcholine; neuromodulation; locomotion; descending control; brainstem; spinal cord; mesencephalic locomotion region (MLR)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Le Ray, D.; Bertrand, S.S.; Dubuc, R. Cholinergic Modulation of Locomotor Circuits in Vertebrates. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 10738.

AMA Style

Le Ray D, Bertrand SS, Dubuc R. Cholinergic Modulation of Locomotor Circuits in Vertebrates. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022; 23(18):10738.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Le Ray, Didier, Sandrine S. Bertrand, and Réjean Dubuc. 2022. "Cholinergic Modulation of Locomotor Circuits in Vertebrates" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23, no. 18: 10738.

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