Renshaw cells

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  1. During a tap on the tendon that stretches the spindle and activates its nuclear bag fibers, afferent projections from these fibers synapse with alpha motor neurons in the same and adjacent spinal segments which in turn send impulses to the skeletal muscle fibers resulting in a brief muscle contraction
  2. Alpha neurons of antagonists muscles are simultaneously inhibited but through disynaptic rather than monosynaptic connections – this is accomplished mainly through Renshaw cells which are stimulated by recurrent collateral branches from alpha motoneurons (using acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter); in turn, Renshaw cell axons end on inhibitory synapses of alpha motor neurons using glycine as a neurotransmitter – Renshaw cells inhibit the inhibitory interneurons that act on antagonist motor neurons and inhibit motor neurons that innervate synergist muscles
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