Electrophysiological representation of scratching CpG activity in the cerebellum

PLoS One. 2014 Oct 28;9(10):e109936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109936. eCollection 2014.


We analyzed the electrical activity of neuronal populations in the cerebellum and the lumbar spinal cord during fictive scratching in adult decerebrate cats before and after selective sections of the Spino-Reticulo Cerebellar Pathway (SRCP) and the Ventral-Spino Cerebellar Tract (VSCT). During fictive scratching, we found a conspicuous sinusoidal electrical activity, called Sinusoidal Cerebellar Potentials (SCPs), in the cerebellar vermis, which exhibited smaller amplitude in the paravermal and hemisphere cortices. There was also a significant spino-cerebellar coherence between these SCPs and the lumbar sinusoidal cord dorsum potentials (SCDPs). However, during spontaneous activity such spino-cerebellar coherence between spontaneous potentials recorded in the same regions decreased. We found that the section of the SRCP and the VSCT did not abolish the amplitude of the SCPs, suggesting that there are additional pathways conveying information from the spinal CPG to the cerebellum. This is the first evidence that the sinusoidal activity associated to the spinal CPG circuitry for scratching has a broad representation in the cerebellum beyond the sensory representation from hindlimbs previously described. Furthermore, the SCPs represent the global electrical activity of the spinal CPG for scratching in the cerebellar cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Central Pattern Generators / physiology*
  • Cerebellar Cortex / physiology
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Commissural Interneurons / physiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Neural Pathways*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology

Grants and funding

This work was supported by CONACYT 36219-N (JQ), CONACyT F1-62610 (EM), and VIEP-PIFI-Cátedra Moshinsky (EM), México. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.