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Role Of Corticobulbar Projection Neurons In Cortically Induced Rhythmical Masticatory Jaw-opening Movement In The Guinea Pig

S. Nozaki, A. Iriki, Y. Nakamura

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The role of the pyramidal tract (PT) in the induction of the rhythmical masticatory activity (RMA) of the anterior digastric motoneurons by repetitive stimulation of the cortical masticatory area (CMA) was studied in the ketamine-anesthetized guinea pig. The coronal section of the medial brain stem at the pontine level did not show any effect on the cortically induced RMA in the digastric EMG, as long as the majority of the PT fibers was spared of the section. In contrast, unilateral section of the PT at the pontine level abolished the RMA in the digastric EMG induced by repetitive stimulation of the ipsilateral CMA, while that induced by the contralateral CMA stimulation was not affected by the PT section. The threshold of repetitive PT stimulation for induction of the RMA of the digastric EMG was much higher at the levels caudal to the facial nucleus than that at more rostral levels, and no RMA was induced by the PT stimulation at the caudal bulbar levels even at the supramaximal intensities for RMA induction of the PT stimulation at more rostral levels. Single shocks applied to the PT at the caudal bulbar levels did not evoke any antidromic field potential in the CMA. Single shocks applied to the CMA evoked a negative field potential in the medial bulbar reticular formation (MBRF) mainly on the contralateral side after a monosynaptic latency, which was largest in amplitude in the region including the most dorsal portion of the nucleus reticularis paragigantocellularis and the area dorsally adjacent to it (dPGC). Stimulation of the oral portion of the nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis (GC) evoked an antidromic negative field potential in the ipsilateral dPGC. Intracellular recording from neurons in the dPGC demonstrated that neurons were located in the dPGC that responded with EPSPs after a monosynaptic latency to single shocks applied to the contralateral CMA and with antidromic spike potentials to stimulation of the oral portion of the ipsilateral GC (GCo). Single shocks applied to the dPGC evoked antidromic field potential in the area in the contralateral cerebral cortex corresponding with the CMA. Injection of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) into the dPGC on one side retrogradely labeled the pyramidal cells with HRP bilaterally in the cerebral cortical area corresponding with the CMA. The number and density of the labeled cells on the contralateral side far exceeded those on the ipsilateral side.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)