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J Comp Neurol. 1988 Feb 22;268(4):546-66.

Descending projections from the gigantocellular tegmental field in the cat: cells of origin and their brainstem and spinal cord trajectories.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Brockton VAMC, Massachusetts 02401.

Abstract

The trajectories and the cells of origin of the pontobulbar gigantocellular tegmental field descending pathways were studied in the cat using anterograde WGA-HRP and retrograde HRP techniques. Four main descending pathways and cells of origin were delineated: (1) Predominantly large neurons in the pontine gigantocellular tegmental field (average soma diameter = 43.4 microns) and rostral bulbar gigantocellular tegmental field (41.3 microns) gave rise to reticulospinal fibers descending in the ipsilateral medial longitudinal fasciculus and ventral funiculus and distributed in laminae V-X with an ipsilateral predominance. These were primarily large-diameter fibers. (2) Predominantly large neurons (46.9 microns) in the bulbar gigantocellular tegmental field gave rise to reticulospinal fibers descending in the contralateral medial longitudinal fasciculus and ventral funiculus. These were mainly large-diameter fibers. (3) Neurons of predominantly medium size (29.5 microns) in the pontine gigantocellular tegmental field gave rise to reticuloreticular fibers descending directly to and distributed bilaterally in the bulbar reticular formation. These were small-diameter fibers. (4) Neurons of predominantly medium size (28.9 microns) in the bulbar gigantocellular tegmental field gave rise to reticulospinal fibers descending in the ipsilateral reticular formation and lateral funiculus. These were small-diameter fibers.

PMID:
2451685
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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