Muscle and movement representations in the primary motor cortex.
What aspects of movement are represented in the primary motor cortex (M1): relatively low-level parameters like muscle force, or more abstract parameters like handpath? To examine this issue, the activity of neurons in M1 was recorded in a monkey trained to perform a task that dissociates three major variables of wrist movement: muscle activity, direction of movement at the wrist joint, and direction of movement in space. A substantial group of neurons in M1 (28 out of 88) displayed changes in activity that were muscle-like. Unexpectedly, an even larger group of neurons in M1 (44 out of 88) displayed changes in activity that were related to the direction of wrist movement in space independent of the pattern of muscle activity that generated the movement. Thus, both "muscles" and "movements" appear to be strongly represented in M1. (+info)
Survey of arthroscopic surgery for carpal chip fractures in thoroughbred racehorses in Japan.
Medical and racing records of 155 Thoroughbred racehorses that underwent arthroscopic surgery for carpal chip fractures were investigated. Articular damage for 98.4% of the fractures was classified as G1 or G2 using McIlwraith's criteria. The rate of return to racing after surgery was 82.6%. Evaluation of racing performance after surgery was attempted using a placing index (PI) based on race finish position. There was no significant difference in the PI distribution between horses that underwent surgery and other healthy horses. (+info)
Biochemical composition of equine carpal articular cartilage is influenced by short-term exercise in a site-specific manner.
It was hypothesized that cartilage macro-molecular characteristics are influenced by exercise intensity and by location within a joint. OBJECTIVE: To determine the macromolecular characteristics of carpal articular cartilage at common and uncommon sites of pathology in horses undergoing high or low intensity exercise, and to compare this composition between exercise groups. DESIGN: Twelve horses (19.3+/-0.9 years) were assigned to exercise groups. Each group underwent 19 weeks high-intensity treadmill training (N=6) or low-intensity exercise (N=6). Dorsal and palmar test sites were identified on radial, intermediate and third carpal articular surfaces after euthanasia. Cartilage was collected from each site, freeze-dried and assessed for water content. Hydroxyproline, glycosaminoglycan and DNA analyses were performed on cartilage from each test site. Adjacent cartilage underwent histological preparation and assessment for chondrocyte numerical density at each site and proteoglycan distribution through the depth of cartilage. RESULTS: Dorsal cartilage had a higher collagen content, DNA content, and chondrocyte numerical density, but lower glycosaminoglycan content than palmar cartilage. Cartilage from horses undergoing high-intensity training had a significantly higher glycosaminoglycan content than cartilage from horses undergoing low-intensity exercise, with maximal difference being observed in cartilage from dorsal radial and dorsal intermediate carpal articular surfaces. Overall no effect of exercise on collagen was observed, but at sites predisposed to clinical lesions cartilage from horses undergoing high-intensity training contained significantly less collagen than from horses undergoing low-intensity exercise. Distribution of proteoglycan was non-uniform in 52% of the sections examined, with superficial loss of toluidine blue staining primarily at dorsal sites and in the high-intensity exercise group. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that topographical and exercise related differences exist in carpal cartilage composition, and that the effect of exercise on overall composition and distribution within the cartilage was maximal at sites predisposed to clinical lesions. These findings could indicate that the combined effect of exercise and local load variations within a joint may lead to a risk of exceeding the physiologic threshold at high load sites that are predisposed to clinical injury. (+info)
Osteoarthrosis of the antebrachiocarpal joint of 7 riding horses.
Osteoarthrosis (OA) of the antebrachiocarpal joint from 7 riding horses is described. The horses were old mares and developed severe OA, with ankylosis in some of the joints. The lesions were bilateral, and the owners noticed the lameness in a late event. The cause of severe OA in these mares is not clear. The fact that OA was bilateral indicates that a single traumatic injury is unlikely as an etiologic factor. Considering the severe joint lesions it took long time before the horse-owners noticed the lameness. It is discussed if the threshold of pain is higher in the antebrachiocarpal joint compared with the middle carpal joint. (+info)
Transmission security for single kinesthetic afferent fibers of joint origin and their target cuneate neurons in the cat.
Transmission between single identified, kinesthetic afferent fibers of joint origin and their central target neurons of the cuneate nucleus was examined in anesthetized cats by means of paired electrophysiological recording. Fifty-three wrist joint afferent-cuneate neuron pairs were isolated in which the single joint afferent fiber exerted suprathreshold excitatory actions on the target cuneate neuron. For each pair, the minimum kinesthetic input, a single spike, was sufficient to generate cuneate spike output, often amplified as a pair or burst of spikes, particularly at input rates up to 50-100 impulses per second. The high security was confirmed quantitatively by construction of stimulus-response relationships and calculation of transmission security measures in response to both static and dynamic vibrokinesthetic disturbances applied to the joint capsule. Graded stimulus-response relationships demonstrated that the output for this synaptic connection between single joint afferents and cuneate neurons could provide a sensitive indicator of the strength of joint capsule stimuli. The transmission security measures, calculated as the proportion of joint afferent spikes that generated cuneate spike output, were high (>85-90%) even at afferent fiber discharge rates up to 100-200 impulses per second. Furthermore, tight phase locking in the cuneate responses to vibratory stimulation of the joint capsule demonstrated that the synaptic linkage preserved, with a high level of fidelity, the temporal information about dynamic kinesthetic perturbations that affected the joint. The present study establishes that single kinesthetic afferents of joint origin display a capacity similar to that of tactile afferent fibers for exerting potent synaptic actions on central target neurons of the major ascending kinesthetic sensory pathway. (+info)
A pathogenesis study of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle, using in situ hybridization.
Eight calves were exposed in an aerosol chamber to nebulized foot-and-mouth disease virus. Two control animals were exposed in a similar manner to cell culture media only. Animals were euthanized at intervals and various tissues examined by in situ hybridization using a biotinylated RNA probe corresponding to a portion of the viral gene coding for the polymerase enzyme. By this technique large amounts of viral nucleic acid were found in coronary band, interdigital cleft and tongue as early as six hours postexposure, indicating a very rapid delivery from the portal of entry to the predilection sites for lesion development. This occurred well before the onset of viremia which by virus isolation was not detectable until 30 hours postexposure. The in situ hybridization signal in these tissues decreased in intensity and extent with time to focally positive areas, occasionally surrounding a vesicle. Other epidermal sites not normally thought of as sites for foot-and-mouth lesion development, such as carpus and eyelid, also had some viral nucleic acid detectable at various time intervals. In the lung by in situ hybridization, alveolar septa had viral nucleic acid early in infection (6-18 h postexposure) while later (36-96 h postexposure), the in situ hybridization signal was prominent in alveolar macrophages. (+info)
Functional specialisation of pelvic limb anatomy in horses (Equus caballus).
We provide quantitative anatomical data on the muscle-tendon units of the equine pelvic limb. Specifically, we recorded muscle mass, fascicle length, pennation angle, tendon mass and tendon rest length. Physiological cross sectional area was then determined and maximum isometric force estimated. There was proximal-to-distal reduction in muscle volume and fascicle length. Proximal limb tendons were few and, where present, were relatively short. By contrast, distal limb tendons were numerous and long in comparison to mean muscle fascicle length, increasing potential for elastic energy storage. When compared with published data on thoracic limb muscles, proximal pelvic limb muscles were larger in volume and had shorter fascicles. Distal limb muscle architecture was similar in thoracic and pelvic limbs with the exception of flexor digitorum lateralis (lateral head of the deep digital flexor), the architecture of which was similar to that of the pelvic and thoracic limb superficial digital flexors, suggesting a functional similarity. (+info)
Pitx1 determines the morphology of muscle, tendon, and bones of the hindlimb.
The vertebrate forelimb and hindlimb are serially homologous structures; however, their distinctive morphologies suggest that different mechanisms are associated with each limb type to give rise to limb-type identity. Three genes have been implicated in this process; T-box transcription factors Tbx5 and Tbx4, which are expressed in the forelimb and hindlimb, respectively, and a paired-type homeodomain transcription factor Pitx1, expressed in the hindlimb. To explore the roles of Pitx1 and Tbx4 in patterning the hindlimb, we have ectopically misexpressed these genes in the mouse forelimb using transgenic methods. We have developed a novel technique for visualising the structure and organisation of tissues in limbs in 3D using optical projection tomography (OPT). This approach provides unparalleled access to understanding the relationships between connective tissues during development of the limb. Misexpression of Pitx1 in the forelimb results in the transformation and translocation of specific muscles, tendons, and bones of the forelimb so that they acquire a hindlimb-like morphology. Pitx1 also upregulates hindlimb-specific factors in the forelimb, including Hoxc10 and Tbx4. In contrast, misexpression of Tbx4 in the forelimb does not result in a transformation of limb-type morphology. These results demonstrate that Pitx1, but not Tbx4, determines the morphological identity of hindlimb tissues. (+info)