The Pedunculopontine Nucleus Area: Critical Evaluation of Interspecies Differences Relevant for its Use as a Target for Deep Brain Stimulation

Mesbah Alam; Kerstin Schwabe; Joachim K. Krauss


Brain. 2011;134(1):1-23. 

In This Article


The pedunculopontine nucleus integrates both sensory and motor information via ascending and descending pathways. With respect to research concerning the function of this region, however, interspecies anatomical and physiological differences need to be taken into account. The efficacy of deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease and possibly progressive supranuclear palsy is most likely unrelated to dopaminergic dysfunction but may be mediated by modulation of cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus region. It is important to note that the effect of deep brain stimulation might not be mediated by the pedunculopontine nucleus proper but also by neighbouring structures such as the cuneiform and subcuneiform nucleus. These issues need to be taken into account when using animal models to examine the effect of pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease.


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