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Harmaline-induced tremor. I. Regional metabolic activity as revealed by [14C]2-deoxyglucose in cat.

  • Batini, C
  • Buisseret-Delmas, C
  • Conrath-Verrier, M
Published Article
Experimental brain research
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1981
PMID: 7238677


Changes of local cerebral glucose consumption under the effect of tremogenic doses of harmaline were studied. To find the brain structures activated by the drug, the autoradiographic method using [14C]2-deoxyglucose was applied to young cats. After administration of harmaline, the animals were paralized with flaxedil. Results were compared to a group of control animals not injected with the drug, but submitted to the same experimental protocol. Increases of neuronal activity were observed in several structures. A) Among the relays of the olivo-cerebello-fastigio (and vestibulo)-reticulo-spinal circuit that had been claimed to fire at the frequency of the tremor, labeling was found in: 1. selected portions of the inferior olive including the medial accessory olive and the caudolateral part of the dorsal accessory olive; 2. the molecular layers of the cerebellar cortex including vermian and paravermian zones. Labeling of the olivo-cerbellar system was therefore larger than the compartment controlling the fastigial nucleus and extended to that controlling the interpositus nucleus. B) Other structures not under the direct control of the olivo-cerebellar system displayed increased radioactivity under harmaline: lateral reticular nucleus, nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis, red nucleus and basal ganglia. Part of the nucleus ambiguus, intensely labeled in the control animals, showed decreased radioactivity under harmaline. The experiments were repeated with the same protocol in another group of animals with unilateral sections of the inferior cerebellar peduncle in order to distinguish between a direct pharmacological influence and a nervous one. Marking of the basal ganglia was not affected by pedunculotomy, suggesting a direct "pharmacological" action of the drug in this cases. On the other hand, marking of the other labeled structures was asymmetric or suppressed by pedunculotomy, and therefore could result from a "nervous" effect secondary to activation of the inferior olive.

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