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To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on swallowing and its underlying mechanism, 32 Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were chose and the electrophysiology was used to detect the discharge of nucleus ambiguus (NA) after EA at CV23 (Lianquan), GV16 (Fengfu), and other acupoints. The swallowing-related motor neuron was identified by antidromic stimulation through recurrent laryngeal nerve. Meanwhile, the swallowing numbers were induced by Double-distilled water (DDW) and the neuron discharges were recorded before and after EA. Beside, 50 SD rats were used for testing the c-fos expressions in NA after EA at different acupoints and the other 80 SD rats were used for chemical damage through the microinjection to bilateral NA. 58 neurons provided complete data after histological identification. And two types of swallowing-related (SR) motor neurons were identified, named spontaneous and silent neurons. We found that the onset latency of the first swallow was shorter and the swallowing numbers were increased after EA at CV23 than the other acupoints (P<0.01). The excitatory neuron response rates were 66.67%, 71.11%, 42.22% and 35.56% for CV23, GV16, PC6 (Neiguan), and ST36 (Zusanli), respectively. The c-fos expressions on CV23 and GV16 groups were significantly higher than the other groups (P<0.05). After chemical damage, the swallowing numbers could not be regulated by EA, but could be regulated by EA after fake damage. The results of the present study demonstrate that EA at CV23 and GV16 could regulate swallowing function via activating swallowing-related motor neurons in NA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Brain research
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Nucleus located in the pontine tegmentum with motor neurons that innervate the muscles of the JAW through the motor portion of the TRIGEMINAL NERVE.
A degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by balance difficulties; OCULAR MOTILITY DISORDERS (supranuclear ophthalmoplegia); DYSARTHRIA; swallowing difficulties; and axial DYSTONIA. Onset is usually in the fifth decade and disease progression occurs over several years. Pathologic findings include neurofibrillary degeneration and neuronal loss in the dorsal MESENCEPHALON; SUBTHALAMIC NUCLEUS; RED NUCLEUS; pallidum; dentate nucleus; and vestibular nuclei. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1076-7)
Diseases characterized by a selective degeneration of the motor neurons of the spinal cord, brainstem, or motor cortex. Clinical subtypes are distinguished by the major site of degeneration. In AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS there is involvement of upper, lower, and brainstem motor neurons. In progressive muscular atrophy and related syndromes (see MUSCULAR ATROPHY, SPINAL) the motor neurons in the spinal cord are primarily affected. With progressive bulbar palsy (BULBAR PALSY, PROGRESSIVE), the initial degeneration occurs in the brainstem. In primary lateral sclerosis, the cortical neurons are affected in isolation. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)
Motor neurons which activate the contractile regions of intrafusal SKELETAL MUSCLE FIBERS, thus adjusting the sensitivity of the MUSCLE SPINDLES to stretch. Gamma motor neurons may be "static" or "dynamic" according to which aspect of responsiveness (or which fiber types) they regulate. The alpha and gamma motor neurons are often activated together (alpha gamma coactivation) which allows the spindles to contribute to the control of movement trajectories despite changes in muscle length.
Neurons that fire when an animal acts or observes the same action of another thus coding the motor response. They were originally discovered in the premotor and parietal cortex of the monkey and studies have shown that neurons that have a similar mechanism are present in humans. Mirror neurons are theorized to be related to social cognition.