Effects of Selective Deafferentation on the Discharge Characteristics of Medial Rectus Motoneurons
|Author/s||Benítez Temiño, Beatriz
Morado Díaz, Camilo José
Davis López de Carrizosa, María América
Rodríguez de la Cruz, Rosa María
Pastor Loro, Ángel Manuel
G. Hernández, Rosendo
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Fisiología|
|Abstract||Medial rectus motoneurons receive two main pontine inputs: abducens internuclear neurons, whose axons course through the medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF), and neurons in the lateral vestibular nucleus, whose axons ...
Medial rectus motoneurons receive two main pontine inputs: abducens internuclear neurons, whose axons course through the medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF), and neurons in the lateral vestibular nucleus, whose axons project through the ascending tract of Deiters (ATD). Abducens internuclear neurons are responsible for conjugate gaze in the horizontal plane, whereas ATD neurons provide medial rectus motoneurons with a vestibular input comprising mainly head velocity. To reveal the relative contribution of each input to the oculomotor physiology, single-unit recordings from medial rectus motoneurons were obtained in the control situation and after selective deafferentation from cats with unilateral transection of either the MLF or the ATD. Both MLF and ATD transection produced similar short-term alterations in medial rectus motoneuron firing pattern, which were more drastic in MLF of animals. However, long-term recordings revealed important differences between the two types of lesion. Thus, while the effects of the MLF section were permanent, 2 months after ATD lesioning all motoneuronal firing parameters were similar to the control. These findings indicated a more relevant role of the MLF pathway in driving motoneuronal firing and evidenced compensatory mechanisms following the ATD lesion. Confocal immunocytochemistry revealed that MLF transection produced also a higher loss of synaptic boutons, mainly at the dendritic level. Moreover, 2 months after ATD transection, we observed an increase in synaptic coverage around motoneuron cell bodies compared with short-term data, which is indicative of a synaptogenic compensatory mechanism of the abducens internuclear pathway that could lead to the observed firing and morphological recovery. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Eye movements rely on multiple neuronal circuits for appropriate performance. The abducens internuclear pathway through the medial longitudinal fascicle (MLF) and the vestibular neurons through the ascending tract of Deiters (ATD) are a dual system that supports the firing of medial rectus motoneurons. We report the effect of sectioning the MLF or the ATD pathway on the firing of medial rectus motoneurons, as well as the plastic mechanisms by which one input compensates for the lack of the other. This work shows that while the effects of MLF transection are permanent, the ATD section produces transitory effects. A mechanism based on axonal sprouting and occupancy of the vacant synaptic space due to deafferentation is the base for the mechanism of compensation on the medial rectus motoneuron.
|Citation||Benítez Temiño, B., Morado Díaz, C.J., Davis López de Carrizosa, M.A., Rodríguez de la Cruz, R.M., Pastor Loro, Á.M. y G. Hernández, R. (2018). Effects of Selective Deafferentation on the Discharge Characteristics of Medial Rectus Motoneurons. journal of neursocience, 37 (38), 9172-9188.|