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J Comp Neurol. 2001 Jan 1;429(1):59-70.

Congruence of mossy fiber and climbing fiber tactile projections in the lateral hemispheres of the rat cerebellum.

Author information

1
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA. ianb@bbb.caltech.edu

Abstract

We have examined the spatial relationship between the mossy fiber and climbing fiber projections to crus IIa in the lateral hemispheres of the rat cerebellum. Experiments were performed in ketamine/xylazine anesthetized rats using extracellular recordings and high-density micromapping techniques. Responses were elicited using small, tactile stimuli applied to the perioral and forelimb regions at a rate of 0.5 Hz. In our first series of experiments we demonstrate that the primary (i.e., strongest) receptive field for a single Purkinje cell's complex spike is similar to the primary receptive field of the granule cells immediately subjacent to that Purkinje cell. In our second series of experiments we demonstrate that the granule cell region most strongly activated by a particular peripheral stimulus is immediately subjacent to the Purkinje cells whose complex spikes are also activated most strongly by the same stimulus. The region of climbing fibers activated by a localized peripheral stimulus is "patchy"; it clearly does not conform to the notion of a continuous microzone. These results support original observations first reported in the 1960s using evoked potential recording techniques that the mossy fiber and climbing fiber pathways converge in cerebellar cortex. However, we extend this earlier work to show that the two pathways converge at the level of single Purkinje cells. Many cerebellar theories assume that mossy fiber and climbing fiber pathways carry information from different peripheral locations or different modalities to cerebellar Purkinje cells. Our results appear to contradict this basic assumption for at least the tactile regions of the lateral hemispheres.

PMID:
11086289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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