Spinal cord projections to the cerebellum in the mouse

Brain Struct Funct. 2015 Sep;220(5):2997-3009. doi: 10.1007/s00429-014-0840-7. Epub 2014 Jul 10.


The projections from the spinal cord to the cerebellar cortex were studied using retrograde neuronal tracers. Thus far, no study has shown the detailed topographic mapping of the projections from the spinal neuron clusters to the cerebellar cortex regions for experimental animals, and there are no studies for the mouse. Tracers Fluoro-Gold and cholera toxin B were injected into circumscribed regions of the cerebellar cortex, and retrogradely labeled spinal cord neurons were mapped throughout the spinal cord. Spinal projections to the cerebellar cortex were mainly from five neuronal columns--central cervical nucleus, dorsal nucleus, lumbar and sacral precerebellar nuclei, and lumbar border precerebellar cells--and from scattered neurons located in the deep dorsal horn and laminae 6-8. The spinocerebellar projections to the cortex were mainly to the vermis. All five precerebellar cell columns projected to both anterior and posterior parts of the cerebellar cortex. Results of this study provide an amendment to the known rostral and caudal boundaries of the precerebellar cell columns in the mouse. Scattered precerebellar neurons in the most caudal deep dorsal horn and laminae 6-8 projected exclusively to the anterior part of the cerebellar cortex. In this study, no labeled spinal neurons were found to project to the lobules 6 and 7 of the cerebellar vermis, the flocculus, and the paraflocculus. Spinocerebellar neurons were located bilaterally, but the majority of the projections were contralateral for the central cervical nucleus, and ipsilateral for the remaining spinal precerebellar neuronal clusters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / pathology*
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology