The spino-bulbar-cerebellar pathway: Activation of neurons projecting to the lateral reticular nucleus in the rat in response to noxious mechanical stimuli

Zilli Huma, Kirsty Ireland, David J. Maxwell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is now well established that the cerebellum receives input from nociceptors which may serve to adjust motor programmes in response to pain and injury. In this study, we investigated the possibility that spinoreticular neurons (SRT) which project to a pre-cerebellar nucleus, the lateral reticular nucleus (LRt), respond to noxious mechanical stimulation. Seven adult male rats received stereotaxic injections of the b subunit of cholera toxin in the LRt. Following a 5 day interval, animals were anesthetised with urethane and a noxious mechanical stimulus was applied to the right hind paw. Animals were fixed by perfusion 5. min following application of the stimulus. Retrogradely labelled SRT neurons of the lumbar spinal cord were examined for immunoreactivity for phosphorylated ERK (pERK) and the neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor. Approximately 15% of SRT cells in deep laminae (IV-VII and X) expressed pERK ipsilateral to the site of the stimulus. Around 60% of SRT cells with the NK-1 receptor expressed pERK but 5% of pERK expressing cells were negatively labelled for NK-1. It is concluded that a significant proportion of SRT cells projecting to the LRt respond to noxious mechanical stimuli and that one of the functions of this pathway may be to provide the cerebellum with nociceptive information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume591
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • ERK
  • Motor control
  • Neurokinin-1 receptor
  • Pain
  • Spinoreticular tract

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