Cerebellar Golgi cells in the rat receive multimodal convergent peripheral inputs via the lateral funiculus of the spinal cord

Tahl Holtzman, Abteen Mostofi, Chia Ling Phuah, Steve A. Edgley

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22 Scopus citations


We recently showed that the activity of cerebellar Golgi cells can be powerfully modulated by stimulation of peripheral afferents, in a pattern different to local Purkinje cells. Here we have examined the pathways underlying these responses. Graded electrical stimulation of muscle and cutaneous nerves revealed that long-lasting depressions and short-lasting excitations of Golgi cells were evoked by stimulation of cutaneous nerves at stimulus intensities that activated large mechanoreceptive afferents, and grew as additional afferents were recruited. In contrast, none of the neurones responded to stimulation of muscle nerves at intensities that activated group I afferents, although about half responded with long-lasting depressions, but not excitations, to stimuli that recruited group II and III afferents. Selective lesions of the spinal dorsal columns did not affect either of these types of response. After lesions of one lateral funiculus in the lumbar cord the responses evoked by stimulation of the hindlimb contralateral to the lesion were reduced or abolished, leaving responses evoked by ipsilateral hindlimb afferents unaltered. Since both ipsi- and contralateral afferents generate responses in Golgi cells, the convergence from the two sides must occur supraspinally. It is difficult to reconcile these properties with any of the direct spinocerebellar pathways or spinoreticulocerebellar pathways that have been described. Instead, it is likely that the responses are evoked via the multimodal 'wide dynamic range'neurones of the anterolateral system. Golgi cell activity may thus be powerfully enhanced or depressed during arousal via the anterolateral system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2006


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