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Exp Brain Res. 1978 Mar 15;31(3):305-16.

Multiple branching of cerebellar efferent projections in cats.

Abstract

The retrograde labeling of neurons in the deep cerebellar nuclei with horseradish peroxidase was used to compare the morphological characteristics of neurons in the dentate and interposed nuclei projecting in the cerebellothalamic, cerebello-olivary, and cerebellar nucleocortical pathways. The results from these studies demonstrated that cerebellothalamic and nucleocortical projections from the dentate and interposed nuclei originate from similar populations of spindle- and multipolar-shaped neurons with somal diameters throughout the range of cells present in the deep nuclei. However, only spindle-shaped neurons with somal diameters of 9--15 microns project in the cerebello-olivary pathway. From these anatomical studies, it was concluded that some of the neurons in the dentate and interposed nuclei which project to the thalamus, inferior olive, and cerebellar cortex have similar morphological characteristics. Electrophysiological experiments were carried out to investigate whether or not some of these neurons project to all three sites viaaxon collaterals. From stimulus sites in the thalamus, inferior olive, and cerebellar cortex, numerous neurons were antidromically activated in the cerebellar nuclei. Collision experiments between these antidromic responses confirmed that single neurons projected to all three of these sites. These studies therefore demonstrate that the axons of some neurons in the dentate and interposed nuclei have collateral branches in both the ascending and descending limbs of the brachium conjunctivum as well as in the cerebellar nucleocortical pathway. Functional implications of the collateral branching of cerebellar efferent projections are discussed.

PMID:
648599
DOI:
10.1007/bf00237291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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