Reflexes in postganglionic fibres within skin and muscle nerves after mechanical non-noxious stimulation of skin.
Summary 1. Somato-sympathetic reflexes in postganglionic neurones to hairy skin and to muscle produced by mechanical non-noxious stimulation of skin were studied in cats anesthetized with chloralose. Most of the postganglionic fibres investigated were spontaneously active and had presumably vasoconstrictor function. 2. In 60% of the cutaneous postganglionic neurones stimulation of hairs induced predominantly excitation. This excitation was mostly followed by a slight depression of the spontaneous activity. In 30% of the neurones the spontaneous activity was depressed or predominantly depressed by these stimuli. 3. In most muscle postganglionic neurones the spontaneous activity was depressed by stimulation of hairs. 4. In both types of neurones the reflexes were produced by activity in hair follicle receptors with Group II afferents. Hair follicle receptors with Group III afferents most probably also contributed to this effect. Except for a slight depression of the spontaneous activity in some cutaneous postganglionic neurones by slowly adapting receptors, mechanical stimulation of other types of receptors with Group II afferents had no effect on the postganglionic neurones. 5. Reflexes in postganglionic neurones could be elicited by stimulation of hairy skin all over the body surfaces.