The origin of serotoninergic afferents to the cat's cerebellar nuclei

Patrick H. Kitzman, Georgia A. Bishop

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35 Scopus citations


In the cat, serotoninergic (5HT) axons and terminals form a dense plexus that is present throughout the granule cell and Purkinje cell layers of the cerebellar cortex and all of the cerebellar nuclei. The intent of the present study was to identify the source of 5HT fibers in the cerebellar nuclei. The medial, interposed, and lateral cerebellar nuclei were selectively injected with either rhodamine or fluorescein‐labeled latex microspheres that were retrogradely transported to brainstem neurons. Transverse sections of the brainstem were processed with a primary antibody to 5HT and secondary antibody tagged with either rhodamine or fluorescein. The location of neurons containing both serotonin‐like immunoreactivity and retrogradely transported microspheres was plotted. All three of the cerebellar nuclei receive 5HT afferents from the nucleus locus coeruleus, the dorsal raphe nucleus, and the dorsal tegmental nucleus. In addition, the medial nucleus receives projections from the superior central nucleus, the nucleus raphe obscurus, the nucleus raphe magnus, and the periolivary reticular formation. The interposed nuclei receive additional projections from the nucleus raphe magnus, whereas the lateral nucleus receives additional projections from the superior central nucleus. In conclusion, the 5HT projections to the cerebellar nuclei do not appear to be collaterals of those projecting to the cortex (Kerr and Bishop, J Comp Neurol 304:502–515, 1991). These findings suggest that, although the cortex and nuclei are anatomically and physiologically related, they do not process all information in parallel. © Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-550
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 22 1994


  • cerebellar cortex
  • fluorescent microspheres
  • locus coeruleus
  • raphe nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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