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.

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Available from: William Michael King, Nov 12, 2014
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    • "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. "
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    • "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. "
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    • "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. "
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