The cat entopeduncular nucleus (EN), which is the main output of the basal ganglia, is known to project to the mesencephalic tegmentum. We have been able to elicit antidromic responses in single EN neurons from the region of the mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR), then transect (precollicular-postmamillary) the brainstem and elicit rhythmic movements of the limbs by stimulation of the same site in the same animal. Injections of the fluorescent dye 2,4 diamidino phenylindole 2 HCL (DAPI) into this area induces retrograde labeling of cell bodies in EN and motor cortex. Injections of a tritiated amino acid (leucine) into the motor cortex induce terminal labeling in the area of the MLR. These studies describe convergent projections from EN and motor cortex to the MLR. These connections may be involved in the sequencing and ordering of voluntary movements in which locomotion is necessary.
Garcia-Rill, E.; Skinner, Robert D.; and Gilmore, S. A.
"Connections of the Mesencephalic Locomotor Region (MLR) in the Cat,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 34
, Article 16.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol34/iss1/16