The inhibitory effect of the olivocerebellar input on the cerebellar Purkinje cells in the rat

J Physiol. 1982 Nov;332:187-202. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1982.sp014409.

Abstract

1. In rats under Nembutal anaesthesia the inferior olive region has been reversibly inactivated by applying a cooling probe to the ventral surface of the medulla. Simple and complex spike activity has been recorded from Purkinje cells of the cerebellar cortex.2. Following cooling of the inferior olive of one side we have observed a remarkable increase of the simple spike activity in all the twenty-two Purkinje cells, showing a disappearance of the complex spike activity.3. In some rats two Purkinje cells were recorded simultaneously from each side of the cerebellar cortex. Following cooling of the left inferior olive the effect on the Purkinje cell was observed only or predominantly on the contralateral cerebellar cortex.4. In a group of animals the inferior olive has been destroyed by 3-acetylpyridine 4-221 days before the recording session. Cooling of the inferior olive region was not accompanied by any significant and consistent increase in the spike activity of presumed Purkinje cells of the contralateral cerebellar cortex.5. These results indicate that the remarkable increase of the simple spike frequency following cooling of the inferior olive region is due specifically to the suppression of the activity of the olivocerebellar neurones.6. Only a small amount of the simple spike frequency increase is attributable to the removal of the post-climbing fibre pause.7. In some lesioned rats recording was made from Purkinje cells, which showed complex spikes due to the few surviving inferior olive cells. In these Purkinje cells cooling of the inferior olive region was accompanied by a disappearance of the complex spike and by a small increase of the simple spike frequency of discharge. Such an increase is mainly attributable to the removal of the post-climbing fibre pause.8. These results suggest that a given Purkinje cell is not only under the inhibitory influence of its own climbing fibre, but also of other olivocerebellar neurones, probably through climbing fibre collaterals to the cerebellar cortical interneurones.9. It is suggested that one role of the olivocerebellar system is to exert a powerful tonic inhibitory action on the Purkinje cells and consequently to exert a significant control on the excitability of the subcerebellar centres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cerebellar Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / physiology
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Olivary Nucleus / physiology*
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Temperature