Barrington's nucleus in the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus): Location in relation to noradrenergic cell groups and connections to the lumbosacral spinal cord

Rutger Kuipers*, Ellie Eggens-Meijer, Gordon McMurray

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Micturition is largely controlled by Barrington's nucleus in the dorsolateral tegmentum of the pons. This nucleus coordinates simultaneous bladder contraction and external urethral sphincter relaxation, by means of a specific pattern of projections to the lumbosacral spinal cord. The most widely used small animal model in neurourological research is the rat. However, urodynamic studies suggest that, in sharp comparison to rat, guinea pig micturition is very similar to human micturition. Therefore, the present study, using retrograde and anterograde tracing and double immunofluorescence, was designed to investigate the location of Barrington's nucleus in the guinea pig, to identify Barrington's nucleus projections to the spinal cord and to clarify the relationship of Barrington's nucleus to pontine noradrenergic cell groups. Results show that Barrington's nucleus is located in the dorsolateral pons, projects to the intermediolateral and intermediomedial cell groups of the lumbosacral spinal cord and is clearly distinct from the pontine noradrenergic cell groups. These results show that the neuroanatomical circuitry in the spinal cord and brainstem that controls micturition in the guinea pig is similar to that in rat. This means that the differences between rat and guinea pig micturition on a behavioral level are not the result of different neuroanatomical connections in these parts of the central nervous system. These results provide a neuroanatomical basis for further neurourological studies in guinea pig. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-56
    Number of pages8
    JournalBrain Research Bulletin
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2-Apr-2007


    • micturition
    • brainstem
    • pontine micturition center
    • locus coeruleus
    • bladder
    • CAT

    Cite this