Somatosensory responses of cells in the dorsal accessory olive are suppressed following stimulation of the magnocellular red nucleus. Since the magnocellular red nucleus of the cat does not project directly to the dorsal accessory olive, the present experiments were designed to identify indirect pathways that might mediate suppression of olivary responsiveness. Wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase was used to compare the location of magnocellular red nucleus terminals with the locations of cells providing input to the rostral dorsal accessory olive. Cells projecting to forelimb rostral dorsal accessory olive can be divided into two main groups: one group comprises a column of large cells located in the ventral caudal cuneate nucleus extending into lamina VI of C1 and C2, and a second group comprises smaller cells located in the ventral rostral cuneate nucleus. Terminations of fibers originating in the magnocellular red nucleus were found to target both groups of cells projecting to the dorsal accessory olive. Therefore, it is possible that the responsiveness of olivary cells is influenced via these terminations. Stimulation of sensorimotor cortex has also been shown to inhibit olivary responsiveness. Terminations from sensorimotor cortex target the same regions of cells that project to the dorsal accessory olive as those of the magnocellular red nucleus, and a similar, perhaps identical, anatomical substrate may serve to modulate olivary sensitivity by the two descending systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience