The control of movements and of homeostatic functions represent the major actions of the central nervous system (CNS). The understanding of the CNS mechanisms that underlie these fundamental control systems is of great importance as a basic question in neurobiology and also for the understanding and eventual treatment of diseases such as hypertension, ulcers, obesity, sudden infant death syndrome and for recovery of function following stroke and trauma. In the past decade, neuroscientists have made significant progress in elucidating the cellular and synaptic properties, projections and transmitters of individual nerve cells and systems. The biggest gap in our understanding of the integrative actions of the CNS is the relationship of these properties to function in a behavioral context. The basic question addressed by this program is: How does the CNS integrate single neuron activity to generate actual behavior? Peterson proposes to study the properties and neuronal organization of brainstem pathways that regulate gaze. Baker will study cerebellar mechanisms for the coordination of visual and vestibular information in the control of gaze. Houk will study the properties of cells in the inferior olive, and their participation in controlling limb movements. Gibson will conduct a microelectrode and neuroanatomical analysis of interpositus neurons of the cerebellum. Disterhoft will identify and characterize brainstem premotor neurons that participate in conditioned eye blink responses. Rogers will investigate the direct hypothalamic control over those vagal neurons, both motor and sensory, that control gastric acid secretion. Nelson will examine the development of central neuronal sensitivity to angiotensin II in relation to the development of spontaneous hypertension and in response to captopril treatment. Campfield will study the role of hypothalamic neurons in the descending control of the endocrine pancreas. Feldman will determine the distribution of neurotransmitter receptors among identified brainstem respiratory neuron classes and the pathways that release these transmitters. Rymer will investigate the role of the beta (skeletofusimotor) innervation of muscle spindle receptors in the control of individual limb muscles. Core support is requested for computer, instrumentation, histology and administration, in order to accomplish the scientific goals of this proposal.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Neurological Disorders Program Project Review B Committee (NSPB)
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Northwestern University at Chicago
School of Medicine & Dentistry
United States
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Perlmutter, S I; Iwamoto, Y; Baker, J F et al. (1999) Spatial alignment of rotational and static tilt responses of vestibulospinal neurons in the cat. J Neurophysiol 82:855-62
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