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Do certain spinocerebellar neurons in lamina IX at lumbosacral levels send collaterals to peripheral nerves? A retrograde fluorescent double labeling study in the cat.

Q. Xu, G. Grant


Spinocerebellar neurons have been found in previous studies in lamina IX of the lumbosacral spinal cord. This lamina has been characterized as being composed of motor cell groups and the spinocerebellar neurons in the lamina have been found to have certain morphological similarities with the motoneurons. Retrograde double labeling technique, utilizing fluorescent dyes, was used for studying the relations between the spinocerebellar neurons and the motoneurons in lamina IX of the lumbosacral spinal cord in four adult cats. In three of them, Rhodamine labeled latex microspheres were injected bilaterally into the cerebellum and Fast Blue (FB) was injected into hindlimb nerves. In the fourth case, FB was injected into the cerebellum, while the peripheral nerves were injected with propidium iodide. Some overlap was found between labeled spinocerebellar neurons and motoneurons in certain parts of lamina IX, especially in the ventrolateral nucleus in the caudal part of L5 and rostral L6, in the dorsolateral nucleus from the caudal part of L5 to L6 and in the ventromedial nucleus at the S2 level. No double labeled neurons were found, however, in any of these or in other examined areas. This strongly indicates that spinocerebellar neurons in lamina IX are a separate population, different from motoneurons.

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