Subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus lesions alter activity in nigrothalamic neurons in rats

Brain Res Bull. 1994;34(1):19-26. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(94)90181-3.


Lesions of the subthalamic nucleus or the globus pallidus altered the response of substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons (antidromically identified as projecting to the thalamus) to electrical stimulation of the frontal agranular cortex. In intact animals, cortical stimulation evokes three independent responses (excitation, inhibition, excitation) that may occur singly or in various combinations. The independence of the various responses, especially the temporally coincident excitatory and inhibitory responses, suggests that the net inhibitory and excitatory pathways carrying these signals from the cortex may converge to varying degrees on individual nigrothalamic neurons. Subthalamic lesions increased total response duration (from 28.4 to 39.7 ms), increased the duration of inhibition (from 18 to 30 ms), decreased the occurrence of excitatory responses, and decreased the intensity of the second excitation (from 1.1 to 0.6 spikes/s). Lesion of the globus pallidus also increased total response duration (up to 38 ms), but by increasing the duration of the second excitation (from 15.1 up to 23.8 ms). The intensity of the second excitation (from 1.1 to 1.5 spikes/stimulus) and the number of cells showing the first and second excitations also increased. The incidence, but not the duration, of the inhibition increased. The mean firing rate increased after subthalamic nucleus lesion (34.2 spikes/s) as compared to intact (27.0) or globus pallidus lesion (25.6). These changes may reflect changes in the relative contribution of the five different pathways transmitting information from the cortex to the substantia nigra. In all cases the cortico-striato-nigral pathway is largely intact.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Globus Pallidus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Substantia Nigra / cytology
  • Substantia Nigra / physiology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology*
  • Thalamus / cytology
  • Thalamus / physiology*