While there is a rather large amount of data from pharmacological and anatomical studies of the murine locomotor CPG network, comprehensive information regarding the cellular and functional properties of the neuronal populations is lacking. Here, we describe concepts arising from genetic studies of the locomotor network with a focus on commissural interneurons regulating left-right coordination. In particular, this involves several families of axon guidance molecules relevant for midline crossing. We also describe recent advances within the field of neural circuit analysis, including imaging, genetic inactivation and optogenetic strategies, which are applicable to locomotor circuits. Such efforts, for example by using available genetic markers, should substantially increase our possibilities to decipher the functionality of spinal cord neuronal networks.
Neuronal network, Physiology, Central nervous system, Spinal cord, Central pattern generator, Review