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The interstitial nucleus of Cajal of the cat. II. Effects of kainic acid lesion on vertical optokinetic nystagmus and after-nystagmus.

M. Le Taillanter


The effects of bilateral lesions of the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (INC) by kaïnic acid on vertical optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) and after-nystagmus (OKAN) were studied in four cats: in three cats, in the acute stage from 1 to 60 days after the lesions; in the fourth cat, they were studied 3 years after the lesions were made. Histological control of lesions showed that the whole INC was bilaterally destroyed in two cats of the acute group and only the upper part of INC in the third cat. In the chronic cat, the density of cell bodies in both INC was lower than normal. In the acute group, the cats exhibited a spontaneous downward eye drift in light and in darkness. During an upward optokinetic stimulation, the effect of INC lesions was dramatic: upward slow phases and downward quick phases of OKN were abolished. Sixty days post lesions, small upward slow eye movements were again observed. During a downward optokinetic stimulation, the defect was much less; in particular, after a slight impairment of downward slow phases, during the first days post lesions, they recovered quickly. The secondary optokinetic after nystagmus (OKAN II) ensuing a downward OKN was cancelled and did not reappear 60 days post lesions. In the chronic stage, three years after the lesions, during an upward optokinetic stimulation, the cat showed upward slow phases with velocities close to normal. However, upward slow phases were curved: the velocity at the end of the slow phases was lower than at the beginning. After an upward OKN (the direction of slow phases gives the direction of the OKN and OKAN), the ensuing OKAN was present but abnormal.

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