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Basal ganglia influences on the cerebellum of the cat.

V. Perciavalle, S. Berretta, G. Li Volsi, M. C. Polizzi


The changes in firing rate of intracerebellar nuclear neurons following electrical stimulation of the contralateral basal ganglia were investigated in adult cats, in which antidromic activation of cortico-pontine and/or cortico-olivar fibers arising in the area 6 had been excluded by chronic ablation of the motor cortex. Activation of putamen and caudate nucleus induced discharge changes in a low percentage (below 12.5%) of both medial and lateral cerebellar nuclei neurons, while stimulation of globus pallidus and especially of entopeduncular nucleus modified the spontaneous discharge of a greater percent of cells (up to 29%), mainly in the most lateral cerebellar portions. The basal ganglia-induced effects were abolished upon section of the brachium pontis but not of the restiform body. Latency values of the responses, which were predominantly excitatory in nature, suggest the involvement of structures interposed between basal ganglia and precerebellar systems. We postulated that impulses issued by the basal ganglia could reach the cerebellum through a pathway that involves the pedunculopontine nucleus and the nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis.

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