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Goto, Fumiyuki; Straka, Hans ORCID: 0000-0003-2874-0441; Dieringer, Norbert (2001): Postlesional vestibular reorganization in frogs: Evidence for a basic reaction pattern after nerve injury. In: Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 85, No. 6: pp. 2643-2646
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Nerve injury induces a reorganization of subcortical and cortical sensory or motor maps in mammals. A similar process, vestibular plasticity 2 mo after unilateral section of the ramus anterior of N. VIII was examined in this study in adult frogs. The brain was isolated with the branches of both N. vm attached. Monosynaptic afferent responses were recorded in the vestibular nuclei on the operated side following ipsilateral electric stimulation either of the sectioned ramus anterior of N. VIII or of the intact posterior vertical canal nerve. Excitatory and inhibitory commissural responses were evoked by separate stimulation of each of the contralateral canal nerves in second-order vestibular neurons. The afferent and commissural responses of posterior vertical canal neurons recorded on the operated side were not altered. However, posterior canal-related afferent inputs had expanded onto part of the deprived ramus anterior neurons. Inhibitory commissural responses evoked from canal nerves on the intact side were detected in significantly fewer deprived ramus anterior neurons than in controls, but excitatory commissural inputs from the three contralateral canal nerves had expanded. This reactivation might facilitate the survival of deprived neurons and reduce the asymmetry in bilateral resting activities but implies a deterioration of the original spatial response tuning. Extensive similarities at the synaptic and network level were noted between this vestibular reorganization and the postlesional cortical and subcortical reorganization of sensory representations in mammals. We therefore suggest that nerve injury activates a fundamental neural reaction pattern that is common between sensory modalities and vertebrate species.