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The neurons of origin of non-cortical afferent connections to the oculomotor nucleus. A retrograde labeling study in the rabbit.

A. Ostrowska, R. Zimny, L. Zguczynski, E. Sikora


The cellular origin of the brainstem projections to the oculomotor nucleus in the rabbit has been investigated by using free (HRP) and lectin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP). Following injections of these tracers into the somatic oculomotor nucleus (OMC), retrogradely labeled cells have been observed in numerous brainstem structures. In particular, bilateral labeling has been found in the four main subdivisions of the vestibular complex, predominantly in the superior and medial vestibular nuclei and the interstitial nucleus of Cajal, while ipsilateral labeling was found in the rostral interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fascicle (Ri-MLF), the Darkschewitsch and the praepositus nuclei. Neurons labeled only contralaterally have been identified in the following structures: mesencephalic reticular formation dorsolateral to the red nucleus, abducens internuclear neurons, group Y, several areas of the lateral and medial regions of the pontine and medullary reticular formation, ventral region of the lateral cerebellar nucleus and caudal anterior interpositus nucleus. This study provides also information regarding differential projections of some centers to rostral and caudal portions of the OMC. Thus, the rostral one-third appears to receive predominant afferents from the superior and medial vestibular nuclei, while the caudal two-thirds receive afferents from all the four vestibular nuclei. Finally, the group Y sends afferents to the middle and caudal, but not to the rostral OMC.

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