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GABAergic control of rubral single unit activity during a reaction time task


, : GABAergic control of rubral single unit activity during a reaction time task. Experimental Brain Research 84(2): 285-296

The activity of 61 rubral neurones was recorded in association with microinjections of GABA, muscimol, bicuculline-methiodide or saline, in cat Red Nucleus area, during the performance of a reaction time task. The depressing action of GABA and muscimol on the firing of most neurones (17/23) suggests that, in a behavioural situation, an inhibitory GABAergic control can be exerted on rubral neurones discharging with different patterns during the reaction time task. The motor slowing down induced by GABA and muscimol is in agreement with a general reduction of the rubral output. Injections of bicuculline, whose antagonistic effects on GABA transmission are well established in the Red Nucleus, had various consequences on the firing of rubral neurones: 1) the decreases of activity related to the reaction time task were never suppressed, suggesting that these task-related inactivations are probably not mediated by GABA A receptors; 2) an enhancement of the tonic and phasic discharges was found for 1/4 of the neurones (7/29), which were either activated or not modulated in relation to the reaction time task, suggesting that a sustained GABA A-mediated inhibition, blocked by bicuculline, could be exerted on these neurones; 3) a reduction of the tonic and phasic discharges was observed for other neurones (15/29), which were either activated, inactivated or not modulated in relation to the reaction time task, suggesting that the activity of these neurones could be controlled by inhibitory processes not mediated by GABA A receptors, possibly enhanced or released by bicuculline. The delay in motor triggering induced by bicuculline could be related to the disruption of the pattern or rubral output during the reaction time task, as a result of the opposite changes affecting the firing of rubral neurones. A well-balanced GABAergic activity appears to be critical in the control of rubral firing during the performance of the reaction time task.

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PMID: 2065735


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