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Computational modeling of brainstem circuits controlling locomotor frequency and gait

  1. Jessica Ausborn  Is a corresponding author
  2. Natalia A Shevtsova
  3. Vittorio Caggiano
  4. Simon M Danner
  5. Ilya A Rybak
  1. Drexel University College of Medicine, United States
  2. IBM, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e43587 doi: 10.7554/eLife.43587

Abstract

A series of recent studies identified key structures in the mesencephalic locomotor region and the caudal brainstem of mice involved in the initiation and control of slow (exploratory) and fast (escape-type) locomotion and gait. Yet, how these brainstem centers interact with each other and with the spinal locomotor circuits is poorly understood. In a previous model (Danner et al., 2017), we suggested that commissural and long propriospinal interneurons are the main targets for brainstem inputs adjusting gait. Here, by extending our previous model, we propose a connectome of the brainstem-spinal circuitry and suggest a mechanistic explanation of the operation of brainstem structures and their roles in controlling speed and gait. We suggest that brainstem control of locomotion is mediated by two pathways, one controlling locomotor speed via connections to rhythm generating circuits in the spinal cord and the other providing gait control by targeting commissural and long propriospinal interneurons.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jessica Ausborn

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, United States
    For correspondence
    jessica.ausborn@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4500-5131
  2. Natalia A Shevtsova

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Vittorio Caggiano

    T J Watson Research Center, IBM, Yorktown Heights, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Simon M Danner

    Department for Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4642-7064
  5. Ilya A Rybak

    Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3461-349X

Funding

National Institutes of Health (R01NS095366)

  • Natalia A Shevtsova

National Institutes of Health (R01NS090919)

  • Ilya A Rybak

Edward Jekkal Muscular Dystrophy Association Fellowship

  • Jessica Ausborn

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: November 15, 2018
  2. Accepted: January 19, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: January 21, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 31, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2019, Ausborn et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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