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Axonal pathways to the lateral superior olive labeled with biotinylated dextran amine injections in the dorsal cochlear nucleus of rats

Abstract:

Doucet, John R., and D.K. Ryugo (2003)
Axonal pathways to the lateral superior olive labeled with biotinylated dextran amine injections in the dorsal cochlear nucleus of rats. Journal of Comparative Neurology 461:452-465.

The lateral superior olive (LSO) contains cells that are sensitive to intensity differences between the two ears, a feature used by the brain to localize sounds in space. This report describes a source of input to the LSO that complements bushy cell projections from the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN). Injections of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) of the rat label axons and swellings in several brainstem structures, including the ipsilateral LSO. Labeling in the ipsilateral LSO was confined to a thin band that extended throughout the length of the structure such that it resembled an LSO isofrequency lamina. The source of this labeled pathway was not obvious, because DCN neurons do not project to the LSO, and VCN bushy cells were not filled by these injections. Filled neurons in several brainstem structures emerged as possible sources. Three observations suggest that most of the axonal labeling in the LSO derives from a single source. First, the number of labeled VCN planar multipolar cells and the amount of labeling in the LSO were consistent and robust across animals. In contrast, the number of labeled cells in most other structures was small and highly variable. Second, the locations of planar cells and filled axons in the LSO were related topographically to the position of the DCN injection site. Third, labeled terminal arborizations in the LSO arose from collaterals of axons in the trapezoid body (output tract of planar cells). We infer that planar multipolar cells, in addition to bushy cells, are a source of ascending input from the cochlear nucleus to the LSO.

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