Research Findings

2018/05/02

Corticospinal Circuits from the Sensory and Motor Cortices Differentially Regulate Skilled Movements through Distinct Spinal Interneurons

Cell Rep. 2018 May 1;23(5):1286-1300.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.137.

Ueno M1, Nakamura Y2, Li J3, Gu Z4, Niehaus J5, Maezawa M4, Crone SA6, Goulding M7, Baccei ML3, Yoshida Y8.

1Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA; Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST); Department of System Pathology for Neurological Disorders, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University
2Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA; Department of System Pathology for Neurological Disorders, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University
3Pain Research Center, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, USA
4Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA
5Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA; Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan
6Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA; Division of Neurosurgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA
7Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA
8Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA

Abstract

Little is known about the organizational and functional connectivity of the corticospinal (CS) circuits that are essential for voluntary movement. Here, we map the connectivity between CS neurons in the forelimb motor and sensory cortices and various spinal interneurons, demonstrating that distinct CS-interneuron circuits control specific aspects of skilled movements. CS fibers originating in the mouse motor cortex directly synapse onto premotor interneurons, including those expressing Chx10. Lesions of the motor cortex or silencing of spinal Chx10+ interneurons produces deficits in skilled reaching. In contrast, CS neurons in the sensory cortex do not synapse directly onto premotor interneurons, and they preferentially connect to Vglut3+ spinal interneurons. Lesions to the sensory cortex or inhibition of Vglut3+ interneurons cause deficits in food pellet release movements in goal-oriented tasks. These findings reveal that CS neurons in the motor and sensory cortices differentially control skilled movements through distinct CS-spinal interneuron circuits.

*Reprinted under a CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

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Related Sites

  • Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences
  • School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Niigata University
  • Niigata University
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