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Exp Brain Res. 1983;49(1):116-24.

The mode of nigro-thalamic transmission investigated with intracellular recording in the cat.


Postsynaptic potentials evoked by stimulating the substantia nigra (SN) were recorded intracellularly from ipsilateral ventral medial (VM), ventral lateral (VL), and ventral anterior (VA) nuclei of the thalamus in cats anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital. SN stimulation evoked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSP) at a short latency in VM neurons (mean 1.68 ms, SD 0.23, n = 59). The IPSP were produced monosynaptically because linear regression analysis of latency vs. conduction distance between stimulating and recording sites indicated a synaptic delay of less than 0.6 ms. Conduction velocity for these fibers was calculated to be 4.48 m/s. The spots from which IPSP were produced with the lowest threshold were determined for each of 38 VM neurons. IPSP origins thus determined were distributed in the pars reticulata of the SN (SNr) and in the area where nigro-thalamic fibers run. Neurons which received IPSP from the SNr were distributed in the VM nucleus, ventromedial to the VL nucleus, where fibers from the contralateral brachium conjunctivum terminate. Convergence of nigral and cerebellar impulses was not observed in thalamic neurons sampled in this study. Stimulation of the entopeduncular nucleus (ENT) also produced monosynaptic IPSP in VL-VA neurons. The SNr-related cell group was located ventromedially and caudally to the ENT-related cell group. No convergence of nigral and pallidal influences was observed within thalamic neurons.

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