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Generation Of Rhythmical Ingestive Activities Of The Trigeminal, Facial, And Hypoglossal Motoneurons In In Vitro CNS Preparations Isolated From Rats And Mice.

Y. Nakamura, N. Katakura, M. Nakajima
Published 1999 · Biology, Medicine

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The central pattern generator (CPG) for masticatory movements has been located in the medial bulbar reticular formation, by using cortically induced rhythmical jaw and tongue movements as a model. To analyze how stationary input from the cortex is transformed into rhythmical output in the neuronal population comprising the CPG, rhythmical neural activities representing rhythmical food ingestive movements were experimentally induced in vitro. Bath-application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) induced rhythmical activities in the trigeminal (V), facial (VII) and hypoglossal (XII) nerves of in vitro brainstem-spinal cord preparations isolated from newborn rats and mice. This paper will review evidence for the notion that (1) the rhythmical XII nerve activity represents rhythmical sucking movements; (2) the population of neurons critically involved in the rhythm generation of the XII nerve is localized in the ventromedial medulla oblongata on both sides, and can induce rhythmical XII nerve activity on the same side independently of each other; (3) the rhythmical activities in the V, VII, and XII motoneurons are induced by separate CPGs, which are located segmentally at the respective level of the V motor, VII, and XII nuclei. In addition, rhythmical masticatory-like EMG activity of jaw muscles can be induced by repetitive stimulation of the pyramidal tract in the in vitro brainstem isolated from adult mice together with the oral-facial structures. We propose that the in vitro brainstem preparation is a useful tool for longitudinal analysis of postnatal development of the central pattern generation of food ingestive movements, including conversion from sucking to mastication.
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