This study revealed a sagittal zonal pattern of projections to the cerebellar cortex after hydraulic or iontophoretic injections of anterograde tracers (tritiated leucine, wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase, or biotinylated dextrane amine) in the basilar pontine nuclei of Wistar rats. The zonal pattern of projection was observed only after injections of small size, whereas large injections labeled diffusely wide areas of the cerebellar cortex, masking the zonal projection because the fusion of contiguous stripes. Diverging projections to discrete sets of sagittal stripes in the two sides of the cerebellar cortex arose from single injections. The stripes of fiber terminals were sharply delimited on both sides by areas, interstripes, either virtually void of labeling or with a much lower density of labeling. Thus, the areas of the cerebellar cortex were parceled in sets of sagittal compartments, stripes and interstripes, by the pontine projections. Up to five compartments (three stripes and two interstripes) were observed in the paraflocculus, in the copula pyramidis, and in vermal lobule IX. Up to nine compartments (five stripes and four interstripes) were found in the crus I, the lobulus simplex, the paramedian lobule, and vermal lobules VI-VIII. Up to seven compartments (four stripes and three interstripes) were found in the crus II. Single injections into the basilar pontine nuclei usually labeled symmetric areas of the cerebellar cortex, which, in some cases, showed similar number of stripes. When this was not the case, the stripes were usually more numerous in the contralateral than in the ipsilateral side. All areas of the cerebellar cortex were projected upon, with zonation patterns from different regions of the basilar pontine nuclei. The projections of the basilar pontine nuclei to the cerebellar cortex were arranged according to a fixed pattern specific for each cortical area, independently of the number of stripes labeled within. The mean width of the stripes visualized in the single cortical areas of different rats was similar, despite the different size of the injections. The length of the stripes ranged widely in the various areas of different rats. The data collected in this study are consistent with the idea that all the messy afferents to the cerebellar cortex are arranged with a zonal pattern. (C) 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
|Titolo:||Multiple zonal projections of the basilar pontine nuclei to the cerebellar cortex of the rat|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|