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Motor-circuit communication matrix from spinal cord to brainstem neurons revealed by developmental origin.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2014
Author Pivetta Chiara, Esposito Maria Soledad, Sigrist Markus, Arber Silvia,
Project Entwicklung und Funktion von motorischen Netzwerken
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Cell
Volume (Issue) 156(3)
Page(s) 537 - 548
Title of proceedings Cell
DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2013.12.014


Accurate motor-task execution relies on continuous comparison of planned and performed actions. Motor-output pathways establish internal circuit collaterals for this purpose. Here we focus on motor collateral organization between spinal cord and upstream neurons in the brainstem. We used a newly developed mouse genetic tool intersectionally with viruses to uncover the connectivity rules of these ascending pathways by capturing the transient expression of neuronal subpopulation determinants. We reveal a widespread and diverse network of spinal dual-axon neurons, with coincident input to forelimb motor neurons and the lateral reticular nucleus (LRN) in the brainstem. Spinal information to the LRN is not segregated by motor pool or neurotransmitter identity. Instead, it is organized according to the developmental domain origin of the progenitor cells. Thus, excerpts of most spinal information destined for action are relayed to supraspinal centers through exquisitely organized ascending connectivity modules, enabling precise communication between command and execution centers of movement.