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In Vitro Investigation Of Synaptic Relations Between Interneurons Surrounding The Trigeminal Motor Nucleus And Masseteric Motoneurons

Arlette Kolta

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Kolta, Arlette. In vitro investigation of synaptic relations between interneurons surrounding the trigeminal motor nucleus and masseteric motoneurons. J. Neurophysiol. 78: 1720–1725, 1997. Because of their many inputs and bilateral projections, interneurons surrounding the trigeminal motor nucleus (MotV) are thought to be very important in control of jaw movements and reflexes. However, their interactions with the trigeminal motoneurons are almost unknown. In the present study an in vitro slice preparation was used to investigate this relationship in rat. The zone bordering MotV has been subdivided into four regions: the supra-, juxta-, and intertrigeminal areas (SupV, JuxtV, and IntV, respectively) and the parvocellular reticular formation ventral and caudal to MotV. Stimulation of all areas evoked short-latency excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in masseteric motoneurons. Frequently the EPSPs masked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) or were followed by long-lasting inhibitory potentials. Only responses obtained from stimulation of JuxtV and IntV seemed devoid of inhibitory components. The EPSPs were mediated through kainate/α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors, whereas the IPSPs appear to be due to γ-aminobutyric acid and glycine. EPSPs and IPSPs were also recorded in SupV premotor interneurons after stimulation of IntV and MotV, respectively, thus suggesting that reciprocal connections exist between premotor areas and also between premotor interneurons of SupV and inhibitory interneurons located within MotV. It is concluded that the preparation used here will doubtless prove useful for further investigation of the circuitry involved in the bilateral coordination of the jaw.