Abstract Vestibulospinal reflexes elicited by head displacement in space depend on the direction of body displacement, because the neuronal responses to labyrinthine stimulation are tuned by neck displacement: a directional tuning takes place in the medial cerebellum and in spinal motoneurons, while a gain and a basal activity tuning can be observed in the reticular formation, a target structure of the medial cerebellum. In the present study, we investigated whether also the response of vestibular nuclear neurons (another target of the medial cerebellum) to labyrinthine stimulation is tuned by neck displacement and which parameters of the response are modulated by it. In urethane-anaesthetized Wistar rats, single-unit activity was recorded from the vestibular nuclei at rest and during wobble of the whole animal at 0.156 Hz. This stimulus tilted the animal's head by a constant amplitude (5°), in a direction rotating at a constant velocity over the horizontal plane, either in clockwise or counter clockwise direction. The gain and the direction of neuronal responses to wobble were evaluated through Fourier analysis, in the control position (with coincident head and body axes) and following a body-to-head rotation of 5-30° over the horizontal plane, in both directions. Most of the vestibular neurons modified their response gain and/or their basal activity following body-to-head rotation, as it occurs in the reticular formation. Only few neurons modified their response direction, as occurs in the cerebellum and in spinal motoneurons. The different behaviour of cerebellar neurons and of their vestibular and reticular target cells, suggests that the role played by the cerebellum in the neck tuning of vestibulospinal reflexes has to be reconsidered.
|Titolo:||Effects of body to head rotation on the labyrinthine responses of rat vestibular neurons|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|