Multiple vibrissae sensory regions in rat cerebellum: A (14C) 2-deoxyglucose study

Frank R Sharp, M. F. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Repetitive tactile sensory stimulation of the right mystacial vibrissae (whiskers) was performed in awake, adult rats. Regions of increased (14C) 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) uptake were mapped autoradiographically in cerebellum. Predominantly ipsilateral activation of multiple discrete granule cell regions occurred in paramedian lobule, crus 2, crus 1, lobulus simplex, and anterior lobe hemisphere. Bilateral and contralateral activation of cerebellum did occur. Multiple small patches, as well as large granule cell regions, were activated. Mossy fiber afferents from the spinal trigeminal nuclei (particularly interpolaris), principal trigeminal sensory nucleus, and superior colliculus could account for metabolic activation of the granular layer. The slight metabolic activation of the molecular layer could have occurred from climbing or parallel fibers. Comparisons of the paramedian lobule granule cell regions activated during repetitive sensory stimulation of the vibrissae (RSSV) to those activated during vibrissae motor cortex stimulation (VMIS) showed regions only activated by RSSV, regions only activated by VMIS, and regions activated by both RSSV and VMIS. The granule cell regions activated during RSSV and VMIS were usually adjacent to or overlapping each other. Regions only activated during RSSV or only during VMIS could represent technical problems in trying to compare vibrissae motor and sensory pathways in two different groups of animals. Alternatively, cerebellar regions activated only during RSSV could process vibrissae tactile inputs. Regions activated only during VMIS could process vibrissae motor and perhaps proprioceptive sensory input. Regions activated during both RSSV and VMIS might process vibrissae proprioceptive sensory input and/or might represent loci where vibrissae motor, proprioceptive sensory, and tactile sensory convergence occur. The results raise the possibility that vibrissae motor, proprioceptive sensory, and tactile sensory pathways could be processed in separate granule cell patches in parts of cerebellum and in the same granule cell patches in other parts of cerebellum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-500
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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