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Cerebello-cortical linkage in the monkey as revealed by transcellular labeling with the lectin wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to the marker horseradish peroxidase

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1. The possibility of a cerebellar linkage, via the thalamus with medial area 6 of the cerebral cortex was further explored in the present experiments (cf. preceding companion paper). 2. It was found that HRP conjugated to the lectin wheat germ agglutinin injected into motor cortical areas was transported beyond the thalamus to the contralateral intracerebellar nuclei when the survival time was 4–7 days. 3. It is suggested that the labeling in the deep cerebellar nuclei occurred via the thalamic relay where cerebellofugal fibre terminals had taken up the marker substance released by corticothalamic fibre terminals or by the retrogradely labeled thalamic perikarya. 4. In general, transcellular labeling of perikarya was weaker than retrograde labeling in the thalamic cells. Some of the nuclear zones in the cerebellum showed relatively dense granulations of the reaction product; in other zones only cells with few granules were seen, and large parts of the nuclei were not labeled at all. 5. The topography of secondary labeling in the cerebellar nuclei depended on the cortical injection sites. In all cases, most labeling was found in the contralateral dentate nucleus. The interposed nucleus received a fair amount of heavy labeling only in the precentral arm and face cases. Very little labeling was seen in the fastigial nucleus and in the cerebellar nuclei ipsilateral to the cortical injections. A somatotopic organization of secondary labeling was noted in the precentral cases with the face being represented caudally, the hindlimb rostrally and the arm between the face and the hindlimb representation. This is in agreement with previous anatomical and electrophysiological investigations. 6. These observations thus lend support to the conclusion that the SMA receives a transthalamic input not only from the basal ganglia but also from the cerebellum, especially from its lateral, neocerebellar portion.

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Nucleus interpositus anterior


Nucleus centrum medianum


Nucleus centralis lateralis superior


Nucleus dentatus


Nucleus fastigius


Nucleus interpositus


Nucleus medialis dorsalis


Nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis


Nucleus interpositus posterior


Griseum pontis


Supplementary motor cortex


Nucleus subthalamicus


Nucleus ventralis lateralis, pars caudalis


Nucleus ventralis lateralis, pars oralis


Nucleus ventralis posterior lateralis, pars oralis


Nucleus X


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Wiesendanger, R., Wiesendanger, M. Cerebello-cortical linkage in the monkey as revealed by transcellular labeling with the lectin wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to the marker horseradish peroxidase. Exp Brain Res 59, 105–117 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00237671

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Key words

  • Supplementary motor cortex
  • Cerebrocerebellar linkage
  • Transcellular transport of WGA-HRP
  • Corticothalamic relationship
  • Monkey