The pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) and central mesencephalic reticular formation (cMRF) both send projections and receive input from areas with known vestibular responses. Noting their connections with the basal ganglia, the locomotor disturbances that occur following lesions of the PPN or cMRF, and the encouraging results of PPN deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease patients, both the PPN and cMRF have been linked to motor control. In order to determine the existence of and characterize vestibular responses in the PPN and cMRF, we recorded single neurons from both structures during vertical and horizontal rotation, translation, and visual pursuit stimuli. The majority of PPN cells (72.5%) were vestibular-only (VO) cells that responded exclusively to rotation and translation stimuli but not visual pursuit. Visual pursuit responses were much more prevalent in the cMRF (57.1%) though close to half of cMRF cells were VO cells (41.1%). Directional preferences also differed between the PPN, which was preferentially modulated during nose-down pitch, and cMRF, which was preferentially modulated during ipsilateral yaw rotation. Finally, amplitude responses were similar between the PPN and cMRF during rotation and pursuit stimuli, but PPN responses to translation were of higher amplitude than cMRF responses. Taken together with their connections to the vestibular circuit, these results implicate the PPN and cMRF in the processing of vestibular stimuli and suggest important roles for both in responding to motion perturbations like falls and turns.
|Number of pages||17|
|State||Published - Oct 25 2012|
- Central mesencephalic reticular formation
- Pedunculopontine nucleus
- Vestibular system