Role of glycinergic inhibition in shaping activity of saccadic burst neurons.
ABSTRACT The immediate premotor signals for saccades are created at the level of medium-lead burst neurons (MLBNs). During fixations, MLBNs receive tonic inhibition from omnipause neurons (OPNs), which use glycine as a neurotransmitter. To elucidate the role of this inhibition, we studied discharge patterns of horizontal MLBNs following iontophoretic application of strychnine, a glycine-receptor antagonist, in alert cats. Three-barrel micropipettes were used for extracellular recording and iontophoresis. After application of strychnine, MLBNs exhibited spontaneous discharge and visual responses during intersaccadic intervals. Spikes were evoked by single-pulse stimulation of the contralateral superior colliculus (SC). These results show that MLBNs receive substantial excitatory input during intersaccadic intervals and that inhibitory action of OPNs is indeed necessary to prevent MLBNs from firing. Strychnine also affected saccade-related activity of MLBNs. The burst of activity, as in normal conditions, declined rapidly before the end of saccades but was followed by low rate spike activity, which continued beyond the end of saccades. This suggests that in normal conditions, the termination of saccades is determined by resumed inhibitory action of OPNs and not by termination of excitatory input to MLBNs. In addition, the firing rate and the number of spikes during saccades increased after strychnine application, suggesting that MLBNs receive glycinergic inhibition of non-OPN origin as well. We conclude that glycinergic inhibition plays essential roles in the maintenance of stable fixation, the termination of saccades, and the regulation of saccade size and velocity.
- SourceAvailable from: Jeffrey W Dalley[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite a wealth of in vitro and modelling studies it remains unclear how neuronal populations in the cerebellum interact in vivo. We address the issue of how the cerebellar input layer processes sensory information, with particular focus on the granule cells (input relays) and their counterpart inhibitory interneurones, Golgi cells. Based on the textbook view, granule cells excite Golgi cells via glutamate forming a negative feedback loop. However, Golgi cells express inhibitory mGluR2 receptors suggesting an inhibitory role for glutamate. We set out to test this glutamatergic paradox in Golgi cells. Here we show that granule cells and Golgi cells interact through extra-synaptic signalling mechanisms during sensory information processing, as well as synaptic mechanisms. We demonstrate that such interactions depend on granule cell-derived glutamate acting via inhibitory mGluR2 receptors leading causally to the suppression of Golgi cell activity for several hundreds of milliseconds. We further show that granule cell-derived inhibition of Golgi cell activity is regulated by GABA-dependent extra-synaptic Golgi cell inhibition of granule cells, identifying a regulatory loop in which glutamate and GABA may be critical regulators of Golgi cell–granule cell functional activity. Thus, granule cells may promote their own prolonged activity via paradoxical feed-forward inhibition of Golgi cells, thereby enabling information processing over long timescales.The Journal of Physiology 06/2011; 589(Pt 15):3837-54. · 4.38 Impact Factor