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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2002 Apr 30;135(1-2):1-17.

The developmental segregation of posterior crista and saccular vestibular fibers in mice: a carbocyanine tracer study using confocal microscopy.

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  • 1Creighton University, School of Medicine, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178, USA.


The developmental segregation of gravistatic input mediated by saccular fibers and of angular acceleration input mediated by posterior crista (PC) fibers was analyzed for the first time in a developing mammal using carbocyanine dye tracing in fixed tissue. The data reveal a more extensive projection of either endorgan in 7-day-old mice (P7) than has previously been reported in adult mammals. While we confirm and extend many previous findings, we also describe a novel segregation of saccular and posterior crista fibers in the anterior half of the medial vestibular nucleus (Mv) not reported before. Our developmental analysis shows a progressive segregation of posterior crista and saccular fibers to their respective discrete projection areas between embryonic day 15 (E15) and birth (P0). Retention of overlap in young adult animals appears to reflect the early embryonic overlap found in most areas. The vestibular projection does not show a topological projection as has been described in many other sensory systems. We propose that the unique projection features of the vestibular endorgans may relate to the transformation of vestibular signals into a motor output in the three neuron reflex arc of the VOR, of which the primary vestibular projection constitutes the first leg.

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