The role of GABAB receptors in the vestibular oculomotor system in mice

Naoki Shimizu, Scott Wood, Keisuke Kushiro, Adrian Perachio, Tomoko Makishima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic administration of a gamma-amino butyric acid type B (GABAB) receptor agonist, baclofen, affects various physiological and psychological processes. To date, the effects on oculomotor system have been well characterized in primates, however those in mice have not been explored. In this study, we investigated the effects of baclofen focusing on vestibular-related eye movements. Two rotational paradigms, i.e. sinusoidal rotation and counter rotation were employed to stimulate semicircular canals and otolith organs in the inner ear. Experimental conditions (dosage, routes and onset of recording) were determined based on the prior studies exploring the behavioral effects of baclofen in mice. With an increase in dosage, both canal and otolith induced ocular responses were gradually affected. There was a clear distinction in the drug sensitivity showing that eye movements derived from direct vestibulo-ocular reflex pathways were relatively unaltered, while the responses through higher-order neural networks in the vestibular system were substantially decreased. These findings were consistent with those observed in primates suggesting a well-conserved role of GABAB receptors in the oculomotor system across frontal-eyed and lateral-eyed animals. We showed here a previously unrecognized effect of baclofen on the vestibular oculomotor function in mice. When interpreting general animal performance under the drug, the potential contribution of altered balance system should be taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Baclofen
  • Eye movement
  • Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)
  • Off-vertical axis rotation (OVAR)
  • Velocity storage mechanism (VSM)
  • Vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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