The cerebellopontine system: an electrophysiological study in the rat

Sabina Berretta, Gianfranco Bosco, Giuseppe Smecca, Vincenzo Perciavalle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the effects of electric stimulation of the cerebellar lateral nucleus (LN) in the rat on the activity of single pontocerebellar neurons in the basilar pontine nuclei (BPN) and the reticulotegmental nucleus (RtTg). We found that about half of the cells of these nuclei that were influenced by LN stimulation were inhibited. A significant fraction of both excitatory and inhibitory responses had latencies of less than 4 ms and were able to follow high frequency stimulation, compatible with a monosynaptic linkage. Extracellular field potential recordings within the BPN and RtTg were interpreted as arising from impulses propagating along inhibitory axons projecting in a bundle from the cerebellum to these pontine structures. Microionophoretic administration of GABA antagonists bicuculline or picrotoxin abolished or attenuated most inhibitory effects. Therefore, we conclude that LN-induced inhibition is most likely mediated by cerebellopontine GABAergic fibers. The functional significance of this cerebellopontine inhibitory circuit is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 24 1991


  • Basilar pontine nucleus
  • Cerebellar lateral nucleus
  • Rat
  • Reticulotegmental nucleus
  • γ-Aminobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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