The phenomenon of post-tetanic potentiation has been studied in the cat spinal cord with particular reference to polysynaptic responses. Following tetanization of dorsal roots, these reflexes show an increased response, as measured in terms of their voltage-time area, with a predominant change in the earlier reflex pathways. Both of these changes in the reflex discharge have a time course of 15 to 25 seconds.
Post-tetanic potentiation is also observed in response to stimulation of a dorsal rootlet following tetanization of another rootlet in the same or in a neighboring segment. This effect can be explained by post-tetanic changes in the terminals of secondary, and possibly higher order, internuncial cells, essentially similar to those changes in the primary afferent terminals which give rise to potentiation of the monosynaptic reflex.