Glycinergic projection neurons of the cerebellum

Martha W. Bagnall, Brian Zingg, Alexandra Sakatos, Setareh H. Moghadam, Hanns Ulrich Zeilhofer, Sascha Du Lac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The cerebellum funnels its entire output through a small number of presumed glutamatergic premotor projection neurons in the deep cerebellar nuclei and GABAergic neurons that feed back to the inferior olive. Here we use transgenic mice selectively expressing green fluorescent protein in glycinergic neurons to demonstrate that many premotor output neurons in the medial cerebellar (fastigial) nuclei are in fact glycinergic, not glutamatergic as previously thought. These neurons exhibit similar firing properties as neighboring glutamatergic neurons and receive direct input from both Purkinje cells and excitatory fibers. Glycinergic fastigial neurons make functional projections to vestibular and reticular neurons in the ipsilateral brainstem, whereas their glutamatergic counterparts project contralaterally. Together, these data suggest that the cerebellum can influence motor outputs via two distinct and complementary pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10104-10110
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 12 2009


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