Effects of lesions of the caudal cerebellar vermis on cardiovascular regulation in awake cats

Brain Res. 2002 May 31;938(1-2):62-72. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(02)02495-2.


The vestibular system is known to participate in cardiovascular regulation during movement and postural alterations. The present study considered whether lesions of two regions of the posterior cerebellar vermis (the nodulus and uvula) that provide inputs to vestibular nucleus regions that affect control of blood pressure would alter cardiovascular responses during changes in posture. Blood pressure and heart rate were monitored in awake cats during nose-up tilts up to 60 degrees in amplitude before and following aspiration lesions of the nodulus or uvula; in most animals, cardiovascular responses were also recorded following the subsequent removal of vestibular inputs. Lesions of the nodulus or uvula did not affect baseline blood pressure or heart rate, although cardiovascular responses during nose-up tilts were altered. Increases in heart rate that typically occurred during 60 degrees nose-up tilt were attenuated in all three animals with lesions affecting both dorsal and ventral portions of the uvula; in contrast, the heart rate responses were augmented in the two animals with lesions mainly confined to the nodulus. Furthermore, following subsequent removal of vestibular inputs, uvulectomized animals, but not those with nodulus lesions, experienced more severe orthostatic hypotension than has previously been reported in cerebellum-intact animals with bilateral labyrinthectomies. These data suggest that the cerebellar nodulus and uvula modulate vestibulo-cardiovascular responses, although the two regions play different roles in cardiovascular regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cats
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Cerebellum / physiopathology
  • Cerebellum / surgery
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Uvula / surgery
  • Vestibular Nuclei / physiology