We are interested in studying the circuitry of the spinal cord that controls walking, known as the locomotor central pattern generator. We investigate this circuitry by means of an isolated spinal cord electrophysiological preparation. The use of such experiments allows us to compare locomotion from normal and mutant mice, helping us determine which cell types in the spinal cord are important for walking.
|Ventral Root Spinal Cord Electrophysiology|
Normal activity consists of motor neuron bursts, which alternate between the left and right side of the cord, and between the flexor and extensor innervating ventral roots. By studying such activity, and perturbations of it in mutant mice, we hope to understand how the neurons that control walking are connected with the aim of creating better treatements for locomotion-affecting injuries or diseases.
|Alternating Activity from E18.5 Wild-type Mouse|