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Brain Res. 2005 Mar 21;1038(2):183-97.

VOR and Fos response during acute vestibular compensation in the Mongolian gerbil in darkness and in light.

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  • 1University of Texas Medical Branch, 7.102 Medical Research Building, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-1063, USA.


We measured binocular horizontal eye movements in the gerbil following unilateral labyrinthectomy during the acute phase (1-24 h) of vestibular compensation. Regardless of whether the animals compensated in the light or the dark, VOR gain progressively reduced following the lesion, and normal oculomotor symmetry was disrupted. Initially, the VOR was comparable at 1 h post-lesion for both visual conditions. However, by 3 h post-lesion the VOR response for head turns away from the lesion continued to drop in animals compensating in the dark. By 24 h, both groups displayed reduced VOR gains, but animals compensating in the light had improved frequency response characteristics. Optokinetic responses became unstable but were generally elevated compared to pre-lesion levels. Animals with vision had reduced optokinetic gains by 24 h, while the OKR response for animals in the dark remained elevated. Brainstem Fos labeling generally increased from 1 to 3 h, then decreased by 24 h. However, at 1 h, Fos labeling in the inferior olivary dorsal cap and prepositus contralateral to the lesion was significantly increased in animals compensating in the light. In both visual conditions, flocculus and paraflocculus Purkinje cell labeling was also observed, and some of the Fos-labeled cells in the medial vestibular nucleus were commissural. Fos in the dorsal cap and prepositus could be attributed to the presence of visual input. While the visually related prepositus Fos labeling preceded improved VOR performance, the dorsal cap appeared to be involved in resolving visual and motor deficits from spontaneous nystagmus.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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