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Separate populations of neurons in the oculomotor nucleus project to the cerebellum and the abducent nucleus. A retrograde fluorescent double-labelling study in the cat.

G. K. Roste


Retrograde transport of fluorescent substances was used in order to investigate possible branching of axons from neurons in the oculomotor nucleus in the cat. Rhodamine-B-isothiocyanate (RITC) was injected into the cerebellar hemisphere, while Fluoro-Gold was implanted into the abducent nucleus. Neurons single-labelled with either of the dyes were found in the oculomotor nucleus in all cases, but no double-labelled neurons were found. The labelled cells were smaller than motoneurons and located in partly overlapping areas along the dorsal border of the oculomotor nucleus, with the RITC labelled cerebellar projecting cells concentrated medially and the Fluoro-Gold labelled neurons projecting to the abducent nucleus concentrated laterally. The RITC labelled cells were found throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the nucleus, while the Fluoro-Gold labelled cells were mainly found caudally. The present findings demonstrate that oculomotor neurons projecting to the feline cerebellum and abducent nucleus represent separate cell populations.

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