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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Transgenic mouse lines illuminate input and output processing streams in the medial vestibular and cerebellar nuclei

  • Author(s): Bagnall, Martha Whitney
  • et al.

The cerebellum controls a vast array of coordinated reflexes and learned responses. All of its output to motor and premotor centers is funneled through the deep cerebellar and vestibular nuclei. Research on the information processing and internal circuitry of these nuclei has been hampered by the lack of available strategies for identifying and targeting functionally relevant subsets of neurons. I took advantage of several transgenic mouse lines in which distinct neuronal groups were labeled with fluorescent reporters to study the input and output characteristics of these regions. Experiments revealed that projection and local neurons in the medial vestibular nucleus exhibit different intrinsic physiological properties, and that their recruitment by sensory afferents is carefully tuned for the requirements of the vestibular system. Furthermore, both the medial vestibular and cerebellar nuclei make both excitatory and inhibitory projections to their motor nuclei targets. Finally, multiple types of inhibitory input are available to sculpt information processing in the vestibular nuclei

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