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Shawn Hochman"Neuromodulatory control of spinal cord function"

Abstract :

The spinal cord is the gateway for information transfer between body and brain, as well as a center for neuronal circuits that integrate and coordinate complex sensory, motor, and autonomic functions. Brain modulatory systems dramatically reconfigure spinal cord networks to support the behavioral state of the animal, and the descending monoamine transmitters appear to play a particularly important role in sculpting circuit operation.
This talk will present physiological and anatomical features of monoaminergic systems in the mammalian spinal cord that support behaviorally relevant neuromodulatory actions. The hypothesis is that these descending systems shape integration of spinal neuronal systems into several context-specific modulatory ‘states’. For example, they can broadly depress nociceptive input, while facilitating motor behaviors, including direct amplification of motor efferent responsiveness. State-dependent functions are interpreted with consideration to features that include diffuse axonal projections, volume and conventional synaptic transmission, a multiplicity of receptor subtypes, and actions throughout the spinal neuraxis.

Selected publications

An in vitro spinal cord-hindlimb preparation for studying behaviorally relevant rat locomotor function. Hayes HB, Chang YH, Hochman S.
J Neurophysiol. 2009 Feb;101(2):1114-22. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Depression of spinal sensory transmission during REM sleep: dopaminergic involvement and insights into restless legs syndrome. Focus on "state-dependent changes in glutamate, glycine, GABA, and dopamine levels in cat lumbar spinal cord".Hochman S.J Neurophysiol. 2008 Aug;100(2):549-50.