Organization of dye-coupled cerebellar granule cells labeled from afferent vestibular and dorsal root fibers in the frog Rana esculenta

Eva Rácz, Timea Bácskai, Gabor Halasi, Endbe Kovács, Clara Matesz

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Application of neurobiotin to the nerves of individual labyrinthine organs and dorsal root fibers of limb-innervating segments of the frog resulted in labeling of granule cells in the cerebellum showing a significant overlap with a partial segregation in the related areas of termination. In different parts of the cerebellum, various combinations of different, canal and otolith organ-related granule cells have been discerned. The difference in the extension of territories of vertical canals vs. horizontal canals may reflect their different involvement in the vestibuloocular and vestibulospinal reflex. Dye-coupled cells related to the lagenar and saccular neurons were localized in more rostral parts of the cerebellum, whereas cells of the utricle were represented only in its caudal half. This separation is supportive of the dual function of the lagena and the saccule. The territories of granule cells related to the cervical and lumbar segments of the spinal cord were almost completely separated along the rostrocaudal axis of cerebellum, whereas their territories were almost entirely overlapping in the mediolateral and ventrodorsal directions. The partial overlap of labyrinthine organ-related and dorsal root fiber-related granule cells are suggestive of a convergence of sensory modalities involved in the sense of balance. We propose that the afferent input of vestibular and proprioceptive fibers mediated by gap junctions to the cerebellar granule cells subserve one of the possible morphological correlates of a very rapid modification of the motor activity in the vestibulocerebellospinal neuronal circuit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-394
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2006



  • Brainstem
  • Neurobiotin labeling
  • Somatosensory system
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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