Evidence is presented for the existence of a localization of monosynaptic Ia excitatory post‐synaptic potentials (e.p.s.p.s) in the motor nucleus of a cat hind limb muscle. Intracellular recordings from biceps femoris motoneurones were made in anaesthetized low spinal cats of the effects of stimuli to the nerve branches supplying the anterior, middle, and posterior portions of the biceps femoris muscle. Recordings were also made during stimulation of nerves to semimembranosus and semitendinosus in order to provide a means of categorizing middle biceps cells as ‘extensors’ (middle biceps‐extensor; i.e. like anterior biceps cells) or as ‘flexors’ (middle biceps‐flexor; like posterior biceps). Homonymous nerve‐branch (i.e. from anterior, middle or posterior biceps) monosynaptic Ia e.p.s.p.s were compared within unifunctional (flexor or extensor) groups of motoneurones. In three of four comparisons (anterior biceps nerve branch onto anterior and middle biceps‐extensor cells, middle biceps onto middle biceps‐flexor and posterior biceps, posterior biceps onto middle biceps‐flexor and posterior biceps) the anterior, middle and posterior biceps nerve branches contributed larger e.p.s.p.s to their ‘own’ motoneurones than to motoneurones supplying other ‘compartments’ of the muscle. In the fourth case, middle biceps's input appeared to have similar effects onto anterior biceps and middle biceps‐extensor cells. A normalization was performed to eliminate the possibility that the differences in e.p.s.p. sizes were due to differences in cell type within the four cell groupings (i.e. differences in the number of cells supplying FF, F(int.), FR and S muscle units). This normalization confirmed that the localization in the first three comparisons was not a consequence of differences in motoneurone type and, in addition, suggested that middle biceps may indeed have greater effects on middle biceps‐extensor than anterior biceps cells. In addition to the asymmetrical effects of anterior and middle biceps nerve branches onto anterior biceps and middle biceps‐extensor motoneurones, it was shown that while semitendinosus and posterior biceps contributed larger e.p.s.p.s to middle biceps‐flexor than to middle biceps‐extensor cells, the anterior biceps nerve branch and semimembranosus nerve contributed equally to the two middle biceps groups. Analysis of cell location in the spinal cord and rostro‐caudal differences in group I volley sizes gave evidence of a topographic organization of the biceps femoris motor nucleus which could contribute to the observed localization. However, localization was also evident when comparing e.p.s.p. amplitudes in pairs of neighbouring cells of different category, indicating a role for neuronal recognition factors.
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