Direct and relayed projection of periodontal receptor afferents to the cerebellum in the ferret.
Field potentials in the cerebellar cortex of the ferret have been studied in response to stimulation of alveolar, muscular and cutaneous branches of the trigeminal nerve. Responses from the alveolar nerves are unusual in their very short latency. Evidence based on latency analysis, frequency following and comparison with other well-known inputs supports the view that the earliest field potentials are due to direct, unrelayed afferents, which terminate as mossy fibres. There is, in addition, a monosynaptically relayed afferent path via mossy fibres. The alveolar nerve afferents concerned with the direct projection are shown to come from periodontal mechanoreceptors and not from cutaneous receptors. No such connections are found from jaw-muscle spindle afferents. The direct and relayed periodontal pathways are both ipsilateral and crossed. They terminate in the cerebellar cortex in the parvermal region of lobules IV, V and VI. The functional significance of the direct periodontal afferent projection is considered particularly in the light of parallels with the vestibular system, which also has direct and relayed cerebellar projections.
Elias, SA; Taylor, A; Somjen, G
Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
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