March 1, 2021

On the distribution of spinal premotor interneurons

The activity of flexor and extensor motor neurons is tightly regulated by a network of interneurons in the spinal cord. The introduction of rabies retrograde monosynaptic tracing has provided a powerful method to map interneurons directly connected to motor neurons so as to visualize premotor circuits. Previous strategies have used AAV for complementing rabies glycoprotein expression in motor neurons to obtain selectivity in transsynaptic transfer to identify premotor interneurons innervating specific motor neuron pools These studies revealed differences in the location of flexor and extensor premotor interneurons. Here, we report that by using a genetic approach to complement rabies glycoprotein expression in motor neurons, we did not observe any differences in the distribution of flexor and extensor premotor interneurons. In order to identify possible causes for these paradoxical findings, we discuss advantages and caveats of the experimental designs and suggest ways forward to resolve possible ambiguities. Furthermore, to obtain a complete picture of existing approaches and results we ask for contributions from the scientific community describing the use of additional mouse models, viral constructs, and complementation methods. The aim is to generate an open, comprehensive database to understand the specific organisation of premotor circuits.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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