Arrangement and Connections of Mesencephalic Trigeminal Neurons in the Rat

J. T. M. Rokx*, P. J. W. Juch, J. D. van Willigen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    The morphology of the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus was examined microscopically in serial frozen sections. The nucleus extends over a length of about 4.5 mm, and its cell number was calculated to range from 1,000 to 1,600. 60% of the cells were located in the caudal third of the nucleus. Clustering of large unipolar cells was seen throughout the nucleus. Small spindle-shaped multipolar cells were found in the pontine part of the nucleus. The efferent connections of the mesencephalic trigeminal neurons were investigated by means of iontophoretically delivered Phaseolus vulgaris leuco-agglutinin or horseradish peroxidase after electrophysiological identification of mesencephalic trigeminal neurons. All projections were found ipsilateral to the injection site; they were confined to the trigeminal motor nucleus, especially to its lateral part, and to the dorsolateral reticular formation. The latter projection area included the supratrigeminal nucleus, the nucleus of Probst, and the parvocellular reticular zone. There were no direct projections to the facial or hypoglossal motor nuclei. It is concluded that proprioceptive input from one side is mediated polysynaptically to the bilateral oral final common-path neurons, with the exception of the ipsilateral trigeminal motoneurons
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-15
    Number of pages9
    JournalActa anatomica
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Sept-1986

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