GABA receptors in Deiters nucleus modulate posturokinetic responses to cortical stimulation in the cat.

Article date: 1992/3/1

PubMed ID: 1321596

Journal name: Archives italiennes de biologie (ISSN: 0003-9829)


The early component of the postural responses which accompany the limb flexion during unilateral stimulation of the motor cortex in the cat is not of reflex origin, but results from a central command. These postural adjustments are characterized by a decreased force under the limb diagonally opposite to the moving one and an increased force under the other two. Since the lateral vestibular nucleus (LVN) exerts an excitatory influence on ipsilateral limb extensor motoneurons, experiments were performed in cats to establish whether the cortical-induced postural changes were mediated through the LVN. This structure is tonically inhibited by GABAergic synapses originating from Purkinje cells of the cerebellar vermis, so that local microinjection into the LVN of GABA agonists or antagonists should either decrease or increase the spontaneous discharge of their neurons. Unilateral microinjection of 0.25 microliters of the GABA-A agonist muscimol or the GABA-B agonist baclofen (at 2-4 micrograms/microliters saline) into the LVN produced a short-lasting episode of ipsilateral postural hypotonia and contralateral hypertonia, during which the cats were unable to stand on the measurement platform. When, shortly after, some recovery of the postural activity appeared, no changes in threshold, latency or amplitude of the cortical-induced flexion movement were observed; however, the early component of the postural responses decreased in the other three limbs. Moreover, the slope of the response curve of the moving limb remained unmodified, while that of the early component of the postural responses, which involved the remaining limbs, decreased following stimulation of the motor cortex at different stimulus intensities. These effects started a few min after the injection and lasted for about 2-3 h. The effects described above were dose-dependent. Moreover, histological controls indicated that the structure responsible for these postural changes corresponded to the middle part of the LVN. The specificity of the results was shown by the fact that unilateral microinjection of 0.25 microliters of the GABA-A antagonist bicuculline or the GABA-B antagonist phaclofen (at 5-8 micrograms/microliter saline) into the LVN produced a postural asymmetry opposite in sign to that elicited in the same experiments by the corresponding agonists. These injections did not modify the amplitude of the cortical-induced limb flexion, but rather enhanced the amplitude of the early component of the postural responses in the other three limbs.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Author List: Luccarini P, Gahery Y, Blanchet G, Pompeiano O

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Substances mentioned in the article: Receptors, GABA-A; phaclofen; Muscimol; Baclofen; Bicuculline;

Mesh terms: Animals; Baclofen/analogs & derivatives; Bicuculline/pharmacology; Cats; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Electric Stimulation; Extremities/physiology; Male; Microinjections; Motor Cortex/physiology; Muscimol/pharmacology; Posture/physiology; Receptors, GABA-A/drug effects; Vestibular Nucleus, Lateral/drug effects;

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