Takemura K, King WM. Vestibulo-collic reflex (VCR) in mice

Department of Otolaryngology, Kresge Hearing Research Institute, University of Michigan, 1301 E. Ann Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0506, USA.
Experimental Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.04). 12/2005; 167(1):103-7. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-005-0030-1
Source: PubMed


The vestibulo-collic reflex (VCR) attempts to stabilize head position in space during motion of the body. Similar to the better-studied vestibulo-ocular reflex, the VCR is subserved by relatively direct, as well as indirect pathways linking vestibular nerve activity to cervical motor neurons. We measured the VCR using an electromagnetic technique often employed to measure eye movements; we attached a loop of wire (head coil) to an animal's head using an adhesive; then the animal was gently restrained with its head free to move within an electromagnetic field, and was subjected to sinusoidal (0.5-3 Hz) or abrupt angular acceleration (peak velocity approximately 200 degrees/s). Head rotation opposite in direction to body rotation was assumed to be driven by the VCR. To confirm that the compensatory head movements were in fact vestibular in origin, we plugged the horizontal canal unilaterally and then retested the animals 2, 8 and 15 days after the lesion. Two days after surgery, the putative VCR was almost absent in response to abrupt or sinusoidal rotations. Recovery commenced by day 8 and was nearly complete by day 15. We conclude that the compensatory head movements are vestibular in origin produced by the VCR. Similar to other species, there are robust compensatory mechanisms that restore the VCR following peripheral lesions.

Download full-text


Available from: William Michael King, Nov 12, 2014
37 Reads
  • Source
    • "In particular, monkeys often use voluntary coordinated eye-head and eye-head-body gaze shifts (McCluskey and Cullen, 2007) to precisely align gaze when exploring their environment, whereas mice are afoveates for which head and body motion are typically more closely linked during exploration (see Stahl et al., 2006). It is thus likely that the static neck sensitivity coded by mouse VN neurons plays a vital role in stabilization of the head relative to the body during exploration via the vestibulo-collic reflex (e.g., Baker, 2005; Takemura and King, 2005). In contrast, such default stabilization would be potentially detrimental in monkeys, since it would be counterproductive to the voluntary head movements that are frequently made by this species. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The vestibular system is vital for maintaining an accurate representation of self-motion. As one moves (or is moved) toward a new place in the environment, signals from the vestibular sensors are relayed to higher-order centers. It is generally assumed the vestibular system provides a veridical representation of head motion to these centers for the perception of self-motion and spatial memory. In support of this idea, evidence from lesion studies suggests that vestibular inputs are required for the directional tuning of head direction cells in the limbic system as well as neurons in areas of multimodal association cortex. However, recent investigations in monkeys and mice challenge the notion that early vestibular pathways encode an absolute representation of head motion. Instead, processing at the first central stage is inherently multimodal. This minireview highlights recent progress that has been made towards understanding how the brain processes and interprets self-motion signals encoded by the vestibular otoliths and semicircular canals during everyday life. The following interrelated questions are considered. What information is available to the higher-order centers that contribute to self-motion perception? How do we distinguish between our own self-generated movements and those of the external world? And lastly, what are the implications of differences in the processing of these active vs. passive movements for spatial memory?
    Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 01/2014; 7:108. DOI:10.3389/fnint.2013.00108
  • Source
    • "Eye and head movements were recorded using the electromagnetic search coil technique (e.g. Robinson 1963 in human; Fuchs & Robinson 1966 in monkey; Stahl et al 2000 (eye), Baker 2005 and Takemura & King 2005 (head) in mouse). Each animal was implanted with a search coil in the right eye (Zhou et al. 2003; Judge et al. 1980), and an implanted titanium head post supported a lightweight plastic ball containing a second search coil to record head position. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vestibular reflexes act to stabilize the head and eyes in space during locomotion. Head stability is essential for postural control, whereas retinal image stability enhances visual acuity and may be essential for an animal to distinguish self-motion from that of an object in the environment. Guinea pig eye and head movements were measured during passive whole-body rotation in order to assess the efficacy of vestibular reflexes. The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) produced compensatory eye movements with a latency of approximately 7 ms that compensated for 46% of head movement in the dark and only slightly more in the light (54%). Head movements, in response to abrupt body rotations, also contributed to retinal stability (21% in the dark; 25% in the light) but exhibited significant variability. Although compensatory eye velocity produced by the VOR was well correlated with head-in-space velocity, compensatory head-on-body speed and direction were variable and poorly correlated with body speed. The compensatory head movements appeared to be determined by passive biomechanical (e.g., inertial effects, initial tonus) and active mechanisms (the vestibulo-collic reflex or VCR). Chemically induced, bilateral lesions of the peripheral vestibular system abolished both compensatory head and eye movement responses.
    Experimental Brain Research 09/2010; 205(3):395-404. DOI:10.1007/s00221-010-2374-4 · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The data were analyzed using Spike2 (Cambridge Electronic Design, Cambridge, UK) and MATLAB software (The MathWorks Inc, Natick, MA). VCR is measured in terms of gain, which is defined as the ratio of the head angular velocity to body angular velocity (Takemura and King, 2005). In a normal functioning vestibular system, when the body is rotated, the VCR would act to counter-rotate the head. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 (BMP4) is a member of the TGF-beta superfamily and is known to be important for the normal development of many tissues and organs, including the inner ear. Bmp4 homozygous null mice die as embryos, but Bmp4 heterozygous null (Bmp4(+/-)) mice are viable and some adults exhibit a circling phenotype, suggestive of an inner ear defect. To understand the role of BMP4 in inner ear development and function, we have begun to study C57BL/6 Bmp4(+/-) mice. Quantitative testing of the vestibulo-collic reflex, which helps maintain head stability, demonstrated that Bmp4(+/-) mice that exhibit circling behavior have a poor response in the yaw axis, consistent with semicircular canal dysfunction. Although the hair cells of the ampullae were grossly normal, the stereocilia were greatly reduced in number. Auditory brainstem responses showed that Bmp4(+/-) mice have elevated hearing thresholds and immunohistochemical staining demonstrated decreased numbers of neuronal processes in the organ of Corti. Thus Bmp4(+/-) mice have structural and functional deficits in the inner ear.
    Hearing Research 04/2007; 225(1-2):71-9. DOI:10.1016/j.heares.2006.12.010 · 2.97 Impact Factor
Show more