The three cerebellar peduncles are the superior cerebellar peduncle, the middle cerebellar peduncle, and the inferior cerebellar peduncle. The superior cerebellar peduncle connects the cerebellum to the midbrain, the middle cerebellar peduncle connects the cerebellum to the pons, and the inferior cerebellar peduncle connects the cerebellum to the medulla oblongata.
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|Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy|
- superior cerebellar peduncle it is a paired structure of white matter that connects the cerebellum to the midbrain.
- middle cerebellar peduncles connect the cerebellum to the pons and are composed entirely of centripetal fibers.
- inferior cerebellar peduncle it is a thick rope-like cord that occupies the upper part of the posterior district of the medulla oblongata.
The peduncles form the lateral border of the fourth ventricleand form a distinct diamond – the middle peduncle forming the central corners of the diamond, while the upper and lower peduncles form the upper and lower edges, respectively.
The superior cerebellar peduncles (brachia conjunctivae) emerge from the cerebellum and ascend to form the lateral portion of the roof of the fourth ventricle, where they enter the brainstem below the inferior colliculi. They are joined by the superior medullary velum. The superior cerebellar peduncles represent the main output pathway of the cerebellum and, as such, most of its fibers are efferent. A relatively small afferent contribution is present. Efferent pathways include the cerebellar-rubral, dentatothalamic, and fastigioreticular tracts. They all emerge from the cerebellar nuclei; the cerebellar-rubral fibers of the globose and emboliform nuclei, the dentatothalamic fibers of the dentate nucleus, and the fastigial fibers of the fastigial nucleus. They emerge together from the various nuclei to ascend in the roof of the fourth ventricle and proceed anteriorly to the tegmental area of the midbrain medial to the lateral lemniscus. The cerebellar-rubral fibers cross at this point to enter the contralateral red nucleus. The dentatothalamic fibers also cross and ascend to synapse in the ventral intermediate (VI) and ventral anterior (VA) nuclei of the thalamus. Fastigioreticular fibers enter the reticular formation of the midbrain, pons, and medulla. Afferent pathways include the anterior spinocerebellar and tectocerebellar tracts. Fibers of the anterior spinocerebellar tract originate in Clarke’s column of the spinal cord and cross at the anterior white commissure to the lateral funiculus, where they ascend to the superior pontine levels before crossing again to enter the cerebellum via the superior peduncle. They terminate in the hindlimb region of the cerebellar cortex. The tectocerebellar tracts emerge from the superior and inferior colliculi on both sides, terminating in the intermediate vermis (culm, slope, folio, tubercle, pyramid) and the simple lobe. The function of the tectocerebellar tract is not known, but it is thought to mediate visual and auditory reflexes.
|deep cerebellar nuclei|
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