Previous studies often considered the basilar pontine nuclei (BPN) and the nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis (NRTP) as relays of a single cerebro-(ponto)-cerebellar pathway. Conversely, the different cortical afferences to the BPN and the NRTP, as well as the anatomical and functional features of the cerebellopetal projections from these pontine nuclei, support the different, and for some aspect, complementary arrangement of the cerebrocerebellar pathways relayed by the BPN or NRTP. Both the BPN and the NRTP are innervated from the cerebral cortex, but with regional prevalence. The NRTP is principally innervated from motor or sensori-motor areas while the BPN are principally innervated from sensory, mainly teloceptive, and associative area. Projections from sensory-motor areas were also traced to the BPN. The BPN and NRTP project to all parts of the cerebellar cortex with a similar pattern. In fact, from single areas of them projections were traced to set of sagittal stripes of the cerebellar cortex. In variance to such analogies, the projections to the cerebellar nuclei differed between those traced from the NRTP and from BPN. In fact, BPN and NRTP have private terminal areas in the cerebellar nuclei with relatively little overlaps. The BPN innervated the lateroventral part of the nucleus lateralis and the caudoventral aspect of the nucleus interpositalis posterioris. The NRTP principally innervated the mediodorsal part of the nucleus lateralis, the nucleus interpositalis anterioris, the nucleus medialis. Since the single cerebellar nuclei have their specific targets in the extracerebellar brain areas, it follows that the BPN and the NRTP, passing through their cerebellar nuclei relays, are devoted to control different brain areas and thus likely to play different functional roles. From single pontine regions (of both BPN and NRTP) projections were traced to the cerebellar cortex and to the cerebellar nuclei. In some cases these projections reached areas which are likely anatomically connected (by Purkinje axons). This pattern of the pontine projections was termed as coupled projection. In some other cases, the projections reached areas of the cerebellar cortex but not the nuclear regions innervated by them. We termed this as uncoupled projection. The existence of both coupled and uncoupled projections, open new vistas on the functional architecture of the pontocerebellar pathway. More in detail, this study showed the different quantitative and topographic distribution of the coupled and uncoupled projections visualized in the cerebellar projections from BPN and NRTP. All these evidences strongly support the anatomical and the functional differences that characterise the cerebrocerebellar pathways relayed by the BPN and the NRTP.
|Titolo:||The basilar pontine nuclei and the nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis subserve distinct cerebrocerebellar pathways|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|