Reticular formation neurons related to tongue movement in the behaving cat.

TitleReticular formation neurons related to tongue movement in the behaving cat.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsSuzuki SS, Siegel JM
JournalExp Neurol
Date Published1985 Sep
KeywordsAction Potentials, Animals, Behavior, Animal, Cats, Electromyography, Female, Movement, Neurons, Reticular Formation, Tongue

We have found a number of cells related to tongue movement in the medial brain stem reticular formation of the unanesthetized cat. These cells constituted less than 2% of the cells tested in this region and were distributed throughout several nuclei in the medulla and pons including nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis, nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis, and the border between nucleus reticularis paramedianus and nucleus interfascicularis hypoglossi. All observed tongue movement cells (N = 6) fired maximally during protrusive tongue movements. One medullary cell discharged primarily during the protrusive tongue movement to the ipsilateral side, whereas no lateral preference was detected in the other cells. Gustatory and mechanosensory stimulation of the tongue was unnecessary for inducing discharge in these cells. Tongue movement-related cells shared several characteristics that differentiated them from adjacent reticular formation cells, including absence of response to startle-inducing auditory stimuli and low levels of spontaneous waking and sleep activity. In two pontine cells located near the trigeminal motor nucleus, spike-triggered averages of tongue EMG revealed a short-latency (5 ms) inhibitory effect on the ipsilateral genioglossus muscle by the units' discharge. We suggest that neurons of this type might be involved in tongue-jaw coordination during mastication, licking, and grooming.

Alternate JournalExp Neurol
PubMed ID4029344
Grant ListNS14610 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States