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Properties and connections of cat fastigiospinal neurons

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  1. 1.

    Neurons in the cat fastigial nucleus that project to the upper cervical spinal segments (fastigiospinal neurons) were fired by antidromic stimulation of the contralateral spinal cord. Dye ejection from the recording electrode was used to show that most neurons were in the rostral half of the fastigial nucleus.

  2. 2.

    Fastigiospinal neurons can be excited and/or inhibited by stimulation of forelimb and hindlimb nerves and by stimulation of the vestibular nerve. These inputs converge on many neurons.

  3. 3.

    Antidromic microstimulation was used to trace fastigiospinal axons to the vicinity of motor nuclei in C2-C3.

  4. 4.

    The rostral fastigial nucleus was stimulated in preparations with the medial longitudinal fasciculus transected by a wide lesion that impinged on the medial reticular formation in the caudal medulla, to eliminate some potential axon reflexes. Short-latency EPSPs were recorded in some trapezius and biventer-cervicis motoneurons. In many cases there was little or no occlusion between these EPSPs and others evoked by stimulation of the vestibular nerve ipsilateral to the motoneurons.

  5. 5.

    Movement of the stimulating electrode and placement of this electrode lateral to the fastigial nucleus show that the zone from which low threshold EPSPs can be evoked is localized.

  6. 6.

    Latency measurements and lack of temporal facilitation with double shocks suggest that the EPSPs are monosynaptic. The evidence suggests that they are caused by fastigiospinal fibers terminating on motoneurons.

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Correspondence to Dr. V. J. Wilson.

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Supported in part by N. I. H. grant NS 02619 and NSF grant BMS 75 00487

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Wilson, V.J., Uchino, Y., Maunz, R.A. et al. Properties and connections of cat fastigiospinal neurons. Exp Brain Res 32, 1–17 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00237385

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Key words

  • Fastigial nucleus
  • Fastigiospinal neurons
  • Motoneurons