The effect of graded doses of systemically injected sodium pentobarbital on several classes of spinal neurons was studied using spinal cats. Classes of spinal neurons included unidentified dorsal horn cells, ascending tract dorsal horn cells, and motoneurons. Single unit activity of spinal neurons was evoked by electrically stimulating a peripheral nerve with an intensity strong enough to excite both A and C fibers. The A‐ and C‐fiber evoked activity was compared before and after intravenous injections of small incremental doses of sodium pentobarbital. The activity of different classes of spinal neurons showed different sensitivities to graded doses of systemically injected pentobarbital. The reflex activity of motoneurons elicited by stimulation of peripheral nerve was much more sensitive to pentobarbital than that of dorsal horn cells. In general, activity evoked by peripheral unmyelinated fibers was more susceptible to pentobarbital than was that evoked by myelinated fibers. However, intravenous injections of pentobarbital produced nondifferential suppression of dorsal horn cell activity evoked by noxious and innocuous mechanical stimuli applied to the peripheral receptive fields.
- dorsal horn cells
- spinal animal
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience