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J Physiol. 1984 Feb;347:593-609.

Inhibition from the brain stem of inhibitory interneurones of the cat's dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus.


Brain-stem control of inhibitory circuits in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (d.l.g.n.) of the cat was studied with extracellular recordings from functionally identified interneurones and with intracellular recordings from principal cells. Perigeniculate neurones, the recurrent inhibitory interneurones of the d.l.g.n., were inhibited by low-threshold stimulation within a wide bilateral field of the brainstem reticular formation extending from the rostral mesencephalon to the caudal medulla oblongata. The inhibition had a latency of 10-12 ms for stimulation sites in the mesencephalon and a duration of about 100 ms. The brain-stem stimulation evoked large hyperpolarizing potentials in intracellularly recorded perigeniculate neurones, indicating that the effect was due to post-synaptic inhibition. Intrageniculate interneurones, the feed-forward inhibitory interneurones of the d.l.g.n., were inhibited with a similar time course from the same region of the brain stem. Both feed-forward and recurrent inhibitory post-synaptic potentials (i.p.s.p.s) in principal cells were depressed by a preceding stimulation of brain-stem sites effective for the interneurones. The depression had about the same time course as the inhibition of the interneurones and it occurred without a concomitant change in the membrane potential of the recorded principal cells. A small depolarizing potential, with a latency of 10-20 ms, was observed in some principal cells after brain-stem stimulation. The potential reversed polarity when i.p.s.p.s were reversed by current injection into the recorded cell indicating that it was due to disinhibition of the principal cells. The possible neuronal pathway for the inhibition of the d.l.g.n. in interneurones is considered and it is proposed that the effect is mediated by a group of neurones located in the caudal mesencephalon and the rostral pons close to the fibres of the brachium conjunctivum.

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