- ELSEVIER SCI IRELAND LTD
To assess the contribution of GABA(A) receptor-mediated inputs in control of vestibular responses of secondary vestibular neurons, we examined the effects of the GABA(A) receptor antagonists, bicuculline and picrotoxin, on these neurons in anesthetized rats. Horizontal canal-related secondary vestibular neurons were identified by their monosynaptic excitation from the ipsilateral vestibular nerve and by the modulation of their firing rate for head rotation. Responses to sinusoidal head rotation were recorded before and during iontophoretic application of the drugs. Application of bicuculline increased DC level of the responses (mean firing rate in each cycle) in all of the 10 neurons examined. In seven of these, the gain was increased along with the DC level, but the phase was virtually unaffected. Similarly, picrotoxin increased both the DC level (4/4) and the gain (3/4), but did not affect the phase. In the 10 neurons that increased the gain, the mean percent increase in the gain was 31% (8-54%). These results indicate that the majority of neurons received inhibitory inputs that were in phase with the excitatory inputs from primary afferents. This suggests that these neurons received GABAergic input of non-commissural origin, most likely from the flocculus. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.
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