Functional organization of climbing fibre projection to the cerebellar anterior lobe of the rat

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  1. The input characteristics and distribution of climbing fibre field potentials evoked by electrical stimulation of various parts of the skin were investigated in the cerebellum of barbiturate anaesthetized rats. Climbing fibre responses were recorded in sagittally oriented microelectrode tracks across the mediolateral width of the anterior lobe.
  2. Climbing fibres with similar response latencies and convergence patterns terminated in sagittal bands with widths of 0.5–1.5 mm. The principal organization of the anterior lobe with respect to input characteristics and locations of sagittal zones was similar to that in the cat and ferret. Hence, the sagittal bands in the rat were tentatively named the a, b, c1, c2 and d1 zones.
  3. In contrast to the cat and ferret, the a zone of the rat was characterized by short latency ipsilateral climbing fibre input. Furthermore, it was divisible into a medial ‘a1’ zone with convergent, proximal input and a lateral ‘ax’ zone with somatotopically organized input. A forelimb area with similar location and input characteristics as the X zone of the cat was found, but it formed an integral part of the ax zone. A somatotopic organization of ipsilateral, short latency climbing fibre input was alsofound in the c1 zone.
  4. Rostrally in the anterior lobe, climbing fibres activated at short latencies from the ipsilateral side of the body terminated in a somatotopically organized transverse band which extended from the midline to the lateral end of the anterior lobe.
  5. The absence of the C3 and Y zones may be interpreted as a reflection of differences in the organization of the motor systems in the rat as compared with the cat. Skilled movements, which in the cat are controlled by the C1, C3 and Y zones via the anterior interposed nucleus, may in the rat be partly controlled by the ax zone via the rostrolateral part of the fastigial nucleus
AuthorsJörntell, H; Ekerot, C; Garwicz, M; Luo, X L
JournalThe Journal of Physiology