Direct excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from the medial mesodiencephalic junction to motoneurons innervating extraocular oblique muscles in the cat

Exp Brain Res. 1985;61(1):62-72. doi: 10.1007/BF00235621.


This study investigated the nature of synaptic inputs from the Forel's field H (FFH) in the medial mesodiencephalic junction to inferior oblique (IO) motoneurons in the oculomotor nucleus and superior oblique (SO) motoneurons in the trochlear nucleus in anesthetized cats, using intracellular recording techniques. Stimulation of the FFH induced monosynaptic EPSPs in IO motoneurons on both sides. Paired stimulation of the ipsilateral FFH and contralateral vestibular nerve substantiated that the FFH-induced EPSPs were caused mainly by direct excitatory fibers from the FFH to IO motoneurons and partly by axon collaterals of excitatory neurons in the vestibular nuclei. Among parts of the FFH, the medial part was most effective for producing the EPSPs. Systematic tracking with the stimulating electrode in and around the FFH revealed that effective sites of stimulation inducing negative field potentials in the IO subdivision of the oculomotor nucleus, identified as extracellular counterparts of the EPSPs in IO motoneurons, were also located in the interstitial nucleus of Cajal, nearby reticular formation and posterior commissure, besides within and near the medial part of the FFH. Areas far rostral, dorsal and ventral to the FFH were ineffective. EPSP-IPSPs or EPSPs were mainly induced in SO motoneurons on both sides by FFH stimulation. Latencies of these EPSPs and IPSPs were close to those of the EPSPs in IO motoneurons, indicating their monosynaptic nature. Effective stimulation sites for inducing these synaptic potentials overlapped those for the EPSPs in IO motoneurons. Based on these results, it was suggested that excitatory and inhibitory premotor neurons directly controlling IO and SO motoneurons were located within and near the medial part of the FFH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Mesencephalon / physiology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Oculomotor Nerve / physiology*
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology*
  • Trochlear Nerve / physiology*
  • Vestibular Nerve / physiology