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      Pathways Controlling Trigeminal and Auditory Nerve-Evoked Abducens Eyeblink Reflexes in Pond Turtles


      Brain, Behavior and Evolution

      S. Karger AG

      Conditioning, in vitro, Abducens, Trigeminal, Auditory, Turtles, Reptiles, Eyeblink

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          An in vitro brain stem preparation from turtles exhibits a neural correlate of eyeblink classical conditioning during pairing of auditory (CS) and trigeminal (US) nerve stimulation while recording from the abducens nerve. The premotor neuronal circuits controlling abducens nerve-mediated eyeblinks in turtles have not been previously described, which is a necessary step for understanding cellular mechanisms of conditioning in this preparation. The purpose of the present study was to neuroanatomically define the premotor pathways that underlie the trigeminal and auditory nerve-evoked abducens eyeblink responses. The results show that the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus forms a disynaptic pathway from both the trigeminal and auditory nerves to the principal and accessory abducens motor nuclei. Additionally, the principal abducens nucleus receives vestibular inputs, whereas the accessory nucleus receives input from the cochlear nucleus. The late R2-like component of abducens nerve responses is mediated by the spinal trigeminal nucleus in the medulla. Both the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus and the abducens motor nuclei receive CS-US convergence and therefore both, or either, might be considered potential sites of synapse modification during in vitro abducens conditioning. Further data are required to determine the role of the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus in in vitro conditioning.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Cerebellar circuits and synaptic mechanisms involved in classical eyeblink conditioning.

           J. Kim (1997)
          There is increasing evidence that, in addition to its major functional role in the regulation of fine motor control, the cerebellum is involved in other important functions, such as sensory-motor learning and memory. Classical conditioning of the eyeblink or nictitating membrane response (and other discrete behavioral responses) is a form of sensory-motor learning that depends crucially upon the cerebellum. Within the cerebellum, however, the relative importance of the cerebellar cortex and the deep cerebellar nuclei in eyeblink conditioning is unclear and disputed. Recent studies employing various mutant mice provide an effective approach to resolving this controversy. Eyeblink conditioning in spontaneous mutant mice deficit in Purkinje cells, the exclusive output neurons of the cerebellar cortex, indicate that both the cerebellar cortex and the interpositus nucleus are important. Furthermore, studies involving gene knockout mice suggest that long-term depression, a process of synaptic plasticity occurring in Purkinje cells, might be involved in eyeblink conditioning.
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            The trigeminally evoked blink reflex

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              Immunocytochemical localization of glutamate receptor subunits in the brain stem and cerebellum of the turtle Chrysemys picta.

               J A Keifer,  T. Carr (2000)
              The regional distribution of ionotropic (AMPA and NMDA) and metabotropic (mGluR1alpha) glutamate receptor subunits was examined in the brain stem and cerebellum of the pond turtle, Chrysemys picta, by using immunocytochemistry and light microscopy. Subunit-specific antibodies that recognize NMDAR1, GluR1, GluR4, and mGluR1alpha were used to identify immunoreactive nuclei in the brain stem and cerebellum. Considerable immunoreactivity in the turtle brain stem and cerebellum was observed with regional differences occurring primarily in the intensity of staining with the antibodies. The red nucleus, lateral reticular nucleus and cerebellum labeled intensely for NMDAR1 and moderately for GluR1. The cerebellum also labeled strongly for mGluR1alpha. All of the cranial nerve nuclei labeled intensely for NMDAR1 and to varying degrees for GluR1, GluR4, and mGluR1alpha. Counterstaining revealed the presence of neuronal somata where there were no immunoreactive neurons in individual nuclei. This finding suggests that there are subpopulations of immunoreactive neurons within a given nucleus that bear different glutamate receptor subunit compositions. The results suggest that the glutamate receptor subunit distribution in the brain stem and cerebellum of turtles is similar to that reported for rats. Additionally, there is considerable colocalization of NMDA and AMPA receptors as revealed by light microscopy. These results have implications for the organization of neural circuits that control motor behavior in turtles, and, generally, for the function of brain stem and cerebellar neural circuits in vertebrates. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

                Author and article information

                Brain Behav Evol
                Brain, Behavior and Evolution
                S. Karger AG
                October 2004
                07 October 2004
                : 64
                : 4
                : 207-222
                Neuroscience Group, Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, University of South Dakota School of Medicine, Vermillion, S. Dak., USA
                80242 Brain Behav Evol 2004;64:207–222
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 11, Tables: 2, References: 33, Pages: 16
                Original Paper


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