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Neuroreport:
Motor Systems

Facial nerve injury produces a latent somatosensory input through recruitment of the motor cortex in the rat

Toldi, József1,2,3; Farkas, Tamás1,2; Perge, János1; Wolff, Joachim-R2

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Abstract

SHORT-LATENCY effects of unilateral facial nerve transection were studied on neuronal activation evoked in the primary motor cortex (MI) on both sides by vibrissa stimulation in adult rats. In the controls, unilateral trigeminal stimulation evoked activity in the whisker representation of both the contralateral somatosensory cortex (SI) and MI, but never in the ipsilateral MI. Unilateral transection of the facial motoric nerve facilitated evoked responses in the contralateral MI, and induced further neuronal activation (gross potentials and unit activity) in the MI ipsilateral to the stimulation. Since these changes appeared rapidly and could be mimicked by picrotoxin application onto the SI contralateral to the stimulation, they are considered to be based on the disinhibition of preexisting associative and commissural connections, which are unmasked by facial nerve transection.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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