Kinematics of cat level walking recover after elimination of length-dependent sensory feedback from the major ankle extensor muscles induced by self-reinnervation. Little is known, however, about changes in locomotor myoelectric activity of self-reinnervated muscles. We examined the myoelectric activity of self-reinnervated muscles and intact synergists to determine the extent to which patterns of muscle activity change as almost normal walking is restored following muscle self-reinnervation. Nerves to soleus (SO) and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) of 6 adult cats were surgically transected and repaired. Intramuscular myoelectric signals of SO, LG, medial gastrocnemius (MG) and plantaris (PL), muscle fascicle length of SO and MG, and hindlimb mechanics were recorded during level and slope (+/-27 deg) walking before and after (10-12 weeks post-surgery) self-reinnervation of LG and SO. Mean myoelectric signal intensity and frequency were determined using wavelet analysis. Following SO and LG self-reinnervation, mean myoelectric signal intensity increased and frequency decreased in most conditions for SO and LG as well as for intact synergist MG (p<0.05). Greater elongation of SO MTU during downslope and unchanged magnitudes of ankle extensor moment during the stance phase in all walking conditions suggested a functional deficiency of ankle extensors after self-reinnervation. Possible effects of morphological reorganization of motor units of ankle extensors and altered sensory and central inputs on the changes in myoelectric activity of self-reinnervated SO and LG are discussed.
- Nerve injury
- muscle self-reinnervation
- muscle length-dependent feedback
- Copyright © 2015, Journal of Neurophysiology