The cerebellar vermis, long associated with axial motor control, has been implicated in a surprising range of neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive and affective functions. Remarkably little is known, however, about the specific cell types and neural circuits responsible for these diverse functions. Here, using single-cell gene expression profiling and anatomical circuit analyses of vermis output neurons in the mouse fastigial (medial cerebellar) nucleus, we identify five major classes of glutamatergic projection neurons distinguished by gene expression, morphology, distribution, and input-output connectivity. Each fastigial cell type is connected with a specific set of Purkinje cells and inferior olive neurons and in turn innervates a distinct collection of downstream targets. Transsynaptic tracing indicates extensive disynaptic links with cognitive, affective, and motor forebrain circuits. These results indicate that diverse cerebellar vermis functions could be mediated by modular synaptic connections of distinct fastigial cell types with posturomotor, oromotor, positional-autonomic, orienting, and vigilance circuits.
All data analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Sascha du Lac
- Sascha du Lac
- Hirofumi Fujita
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures conformed to NIH guidelines and were approved by the Johns Hopkins University Animal Care and Use Committee (M014M28 and M016M464) and Salk Institute Animal Care and Use Committee (11-00024).
- Harry T Orr, University of Minnesota, United States
© 2020, Fujita et al.
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