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The pedunculopontine nucleus: From posture and locomotion to neuroepigenetics

1 Center for Translational Neuroscience, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Slot 847, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA
2 Department of Neurology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, AR, USA
3 Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Farmacologicas, Argentina
4 Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Special Issues: Basal Ganglia: Function and Dysfunction

In this review, we discuss first an example of one of the symptoms of PD, freezing of gait (FOG), then we will turn to the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) to treat PD, and the original studies that led to identification of the PPN as one source of locomotor control and why stimulation frequency is critical, and then describe the intrinsic properties of PPN neurons that require beta/gamma stimulation in order to fully activate all types of PPN neurons. Finally, we will describe recent findings on the proteomic and molecular consequences of gamma band activity in PPN neurons, with emphasis on the potential neuroepigenetic sequelae. These considerations will provide essential information for the appropriate refining and testing of PPN DBS as a potential therapy for PD, as well as alternative options.
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