Independent roles for the dorsal paraflocculus and vermal lobule VII of the cerebellum in visuomotor coordination.
Kralj-Hans I., Baizer JS., Swales C., Glickstein M.
Two distinct areas of cerebellar cortex, vermal lobule VII and the dorsal paraflocculus (DPFl) receive visual input. To help understand the visuomotor functions of these two regions, we compared their afferent and efferent connections using the tracers wheatgerm agglutinin horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) and biotinilated dextran amine (BDA). The sources of both mossy fibre and climbing fibre input to the two areas are different. The main mossy fibre input to lobule VII is from the nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis (NRTP), which relays visual information from the superior colliculus, while the main mossy fibre input to the DPFl is from the pontine nuclei, relaying information from cortical visual areas. The DPFl and lobule VII both also receive mossy fibre input from several common brainstem regions, but from different subsets of cells. These include visual input from the dorsolateral pons, and vestibular-oculomotor input from the medial vestibular nucleus (MVe) and the nucleus prepositus hypoglossi (Nph). The climbing fibre input to the two cerebellar regions is from different subdivisions of the inferior olivary nuclei. Climbing fibres from the caudal medial accessory olive (cMAO) project to lobule VII, while the rostral MAO (rMAO) and the principal olive (PO) project to the DPFl. The efferent projections from lobule VII and the DPF1 are to all of the recognised oculomotor and visual areas within the deep cerebellar nuclei, but to separate territories. Both regions play a role in eye movement control. The DPFl may also have a role in visually guided reaching.