Superior olivary complex
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In the course of our study on the neuronal connections of the subparafascicular nucleus (SPF) in the rat, descending projections from the SPF to the lower brain stem were examined by using the anterograde tracer PHA-L (Phaseolus vulgaris leukoagglutinin) and retrograde tracer WGA-HRP (horseradish peroxidase conjugated to wheat germ agglutinin). When PHA-L was injected into the magnocellular and/or parvicellular division of the SPF (SPFm and/or SPFp), presumed terminal labeling was seen, bilaterally with an ipsilateral dominance, in the mesencephalic and pontine central gray matter, peripheral shell regions of the inferior colliculus, cuneiform nucleus, and superior olivary complex (mainly in the superior paraolivary nucleus, and additionally in the nuclei of the trapezoid body). A few labeled axon terminals were also seen in the cochlear nuclei bilaterally with a contralateral dominance. In the second set of experiments, WGA-HRP was injected into the inferior colliculus, superior olivary complex, or cochlear nuclei. When WGA-HRP was injected into the peripheral shell regions of the inferior colliculus or the superior olivary complex, many labeled neuronal cell bodies were seen in the SPFm bilaterally with an ipsilateral dominance, and a moderate number of labeled neuronal cell bodies were observed in the SPFp (lateral SPF) bilaterally with an ipsilateral dominance. When WGA-HRP was injected into the cochlear nuclei, a moderate number of labeled neuronal cell bodies were observed in the SPFm and SPFp bilaterally with a contralateral dominance. The results indicate that the SPFm and SPFp (lateral SPF) of the rat send a considerable number of projection fibers to the lower brain stem. The target regions of these projection fibers include the auditory relay nuclei, such as the inferior colliculus, superior olivary complex, and cochlear nuclei.
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