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Trigeminal Premotor Neurons In The Bulbar Parvocellular Reticular Formation Participating In Induction Of Rhythmical Activity Of Trigeminal Motoneurons By Repetitive Stimulation Of The Cerebral Cortex In The Guinea Pig

S. Nozaki, A. Iriki, Y. Nakamura

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1. Single-unit activity was recorded from neurons in the bulbar parvocellular reticular formation (PCRF) dorsal and dorsolateral to the gigantocellular reticular nucleus near its caudal boundary, and the roles of these reticular neurons in induction of rhythmical activity of trigeminal motoneurons by repetitive stimulation of the cerebral cortex (the cortical masticatory area, CMA) were studied in the paralyzed guinea pig anesthetized with urethan or with ketamine and chlorpromazine. 2. One hundred nine PCRF neurons were activated antidromically by microstimulation in either the masseter (MA) or anterior digastric (AD) motoneuron pool in the ipsilateral trigeminal motor nucleus, and orthodromically by stimulation in the contralateral CMA. Repetitive CMA stimulation induced rhythmical burst activity in these PCRF neurons in association with the rhythmical field potential in the contralateral AD motoneuron pool induced by the same CMA stimulation. The burst was synchronous with the rhythmical AD field potential in 81 neurons, 44 and 37 of which responded antidromically to stimulation in the MA and AD motoneuron pools, respectively. The remaining 28 neurons antidromically responded to stimulation in the MA motoneuron pool, and their burst corresponded in time with the period between successive AD field potentials. 3. Spike-triggered averaging of the intracellular potentials of MA and AD motoneurons (MNs) by simultaneously recorded spontaneous spikes of the PCRF neurons, which showed rhythmical burst responses during the jaw-opening phase to repetitive CMA stimulation, revealed a monosynaptic inhibitory postsynaptic potential in MA.MNs in 12 of 34 tested pairs and a monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) in AD.MNs in 14 of 26 tested pairs. An EPSP was also found in MA.MNs after a monosynaptic latency from triggering spikes in 11 of 37 tested PCRF neurons that showed burst activity during the jaw-closing phase. 4. We conclude that both excitatory and inhibitory premotor neurons projecting to MA.MNs as well as excitatory premotor neurons projecting to AD.MNs are located in the PCRF, and that these premotor neurons relay the output of the central rhythm generator for rhythmical jaw movements in the medial bulbar reticular formation to trigeminal motoneurons, and thus participate in induction of rhythmical activities of trigeminal motoneurons by repetitive CMA stimulation.