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Distinct roles of spinal commissural interneurons in transmission of contralateral sensory information

Laflamme, OD;Markin, SN;Deska-Gauthier, D;Banks, R;Zhang, Y;Danner, SM;Akay, T;

Crossed reflexes are mediated by commissural pathways transmitting sensory information to the contralateral side of the body, but the underlying network is not fully understood. Commissural pathways coordinating the activities of spinal locomotor circuits during locomotion have been characterized in mice, but their relationship to crossed reflexes is unknown. We show the involvement of two genetically distinct groups of commissural interneurons (CINs) described in mice, V0 and V3 CINs, in the crossed reflex pathways. Our data suggest that the exclusively excitatory V3 CINs are directly involved in the excitatory crossed reflexes and show that they are essential for the inhibitory crossed reflexes. In contrast, the V0 CINs, a population that includes excitatory and inhibitory CINs, are not directly involved in excitatory or inhibitory crossed reflexes but downregulate the inhibitory crossed reflexes. Our data provide insights into the spinal circuitry underlying crossed reflexes in mice, describing the roles of V0 and V3 CINs in crossed reflexes.