Non-motor connections of the pedunculopontine nucleus of the rat and human brain

Özkan M., Köse B., ALGIN O. , Oğuz S., Erden M. E. , Çavdar S.

Neuroscience Letters, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.neulet.2021.136308
  • Title of Journal : Neuroscience Letters
  • Keywords: Diffusion tensor tractography, Fluoro-Gold, Non-motor connections, Pedunculopontine nucleus


© 2021Introduction: The connections of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) with motor areas of the central nervous system (CNS) are well described in the literature, in contrast relations with non-motor areas are lacking. Thus, the aim of the present study is to define the non-motor connections of the PPN in rats using the fluoro-gold (FG) tracer and compare the presence of these connections in healthy human adults using diffusion tensor tractography (DTI). Materials and Methods: We injected FG into the PPN of 12 rats. The non-motor connections of the PPN with cortical, subcortical, and brainstem structures were documented. The non-motor connections of the rats were compared with the DTI obtained from 35 healthy adults. Results: The results of the tract-tracing study in the rat showed that the PPN was connected to non-motor cortical (cingulate, somatosensory, visual, auditory, medial frontal cortices), subcortical (amygdala, hypothalamus, thalamus, habenular, and bed nucleus of stria terminalis), and brainstem (medullary reticular, trigeminal spinal, external cuneate, pontine reticular, vestibular, superior and inferior colliculus, locus ceruleus, periaqueductal gray, parabrachial, dorsal raphe, pretectal, lateral lemniscus nuclei, and the contralateral PPN) structures. The DTI obtained from healthy adults showed similar PPN non-motor connections as in rats. Conclusion: Understanding the connections of the PPN with non-motor cortical, subcortical, and brainstem areas of the CNS will enrich our knowledge of its contribution in various circuits and the areas that PPN activity can influence. Further, it will provide insight into the role of Parkinson's disease and related disorders and explain the non-motor complications which occur subsequent to deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the PPN.