The cerebellum communicates with the basal ganglia


The cerebral cortex is interconnected with two major subcortical structures: the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. How and where cerebellar circuits interact with basal ganglia circuits has been a longstanding question. Using transneuronal transport of rabies virus in macaques, we found that a disynaptic pathway links an output stage of cerebellar processing, the dentate nucleus, with an input stage of basal ganglia processing, the striatum.

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Figure 1: Tracer injection sites.
Figure 2: Dentate neurons labeled by retrograde transneuronal transport of virus from GPe.
Figure 3: Location of dentate neurons that project to GPe.


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This work was supported by the Veterans Affairs Medical Research Service; the National Parkinson Foundation; US Department of Health and Human Services grants MH56661, NS047126, RR018604 (P.L.S.) and a long-term fellowship from the Human Frontier Science Program Organization (E.H.). We thank B. Dietzschold and M. Schnell (Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia) for supplying rabies virus and A. Wandeler (Animal Disease Research Institute, Nepean, Ontario, Canada) for supplying antibodies to rabies. We thank M. Page for developing the computer programs; C. Lovell, K. McDonald, M. O'Malley, M. Ratajeski and M. Watach for their technical assistance; and D. Akkal, F. Delis, R.P. Dum, D. Hoffman, and J.-A. Rathelot for scientific discussions.

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Correspondence to Peter L Strick.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Fig. 1

Experimental paradigm. (PDF 240 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 2

Injection site in putamen, and thalamic neurons labeled by retrograde transneuronal transport of virus from Gpe. (PDF 325 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 3

The cerebellar pathway to the basal ganglia. (PDF 134 kb)

Supplementary Methods (PDF 21 kb)

Supplementary Discussion (PDF 13 kb)

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Hoshi, E., Tremblay, L., Féger, J. et al. The cerebellum communicates with the basal ganglia. Nat Neurosci 8, 1491–1493 (2005).

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