Inferior olivary nucleus
|Brain: Inferior olivary nucleus|
Microcircuitry of the cerebellum. Excitatory synapses are denoted by (+) and inhibitory synapses by (-).
MF: Mossy fiber.
DCN: Deep cerebellar nuclei.
IO: Inferior olive.
CF: Climbing fiber.
CFC: Climbing fiber collateral.
GC: Granule cell.
PF: Parallel fiber.
PC: Purkinje cell.
GgC: Golgi cell.
SC: Stellate cell.
BC: Basket cell.
Transverse section of medulla oblongata below the middle of the olive. (Inferior olivary nucleus labeled at center right.)
|Latin||Complexus olivaris inferior,
nuclei olivares inferiores
|Part of||Olivary body|
It is closely associated with the cerebellum, meaning that it is involved in control and coordination of movements, sensory processing and cognitive tasks likely by encoding the timing of sensory input independently of attention or awareness .  Lesions to the inferior olive have been associated with a decreased ability to perfect highly specialized motor tasks, such as improving one's accuracy in hitting a target with a ball. There is some evidence that it is stimulated by ghrelin.
It consists of a gray folded lamina arranged in the form of an incomplete capsule, opening medially by an aperture called the hilum.
Olivocerebellar fibers are neurons that have their cell bodies in the inferior olivary nucleus. Their axons leave medially through the hilum, cross the midline, and ascend into the cerebellum via the inferior cerebellar peduncle. Once they enter the cerebellum, they are referred to as the climbing fibers. Finally, they terminate by synapsing in the cerebellar cortex, including the cortex of the vermis, paramedian lobule, and the cerebellar hemispheres.
The fibers leaving the inferior olivary nucleus at the hilum may be referred to as the "peduncle" of the olive. They cross with those from the opposite olive in the raphe. After the raphe, they may be referred to as the internal arcuate fibers.
The fibers are smaller than the internal arcuate fibers connected with the medial lemniscus.
Fibers passing in the opposite direction from the cerebellum to the olivary nucleus are often described as the CTT, but their existence is doubtful.
Much uncertainty exists also with regard to the connections of the olive and the spinal cord.
Important connections between the cerebrum and the olive of the same side exist, but the exact pathway is unknown.
Many collaterals from the reticular formation and from the pyramids enter the inferior olivary nucleus.
Removal of one cerebellar hemisphere is followed by atrophy of the opposite olivary nucleus.
- "Medical Neurosciences".
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- Liu T, Xu D, Ashe J, Bushara K. Specificity of inferior olive response to stimulus timing. J Neurophysiol 2008; 100: 1557-61.
- Wu X, Ashe J, Bushara KO. Role of olivocerebellar system in timing without awareness. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011.
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- Zhang W, Lin TR, Hu Y, Fan Y, Zhao L, Mulholland MW (2003). "Activation of c-fos expression in the rat inferior olivary nucleus by ghrelin". Neurosci. Lett. 353 (3): 157–60. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2003.08.083. PMID 14665405.
- Gado, Thomas A. Woolsey ; Joseph Hanaway ; Mokhtar H. (2003). The brain atlas a visual guide to the human central nervous system (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. p. 206. ISBN 0-471-43058-7.
- Hanihara T, Amano N, Takahashi T, Itoh Y, Yagishita S (1998). "Hypertrophy of the inferior olivary nucleus in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy". Eur. Neurol. 39 (2): 97–102. doi:10.1159/000007915. PMID 9520070.